June 11: Search for financial aid and scholarships

In the 2007-08, more than $580 million in financial aid funds were administered and 77 percent of students on the Urbana-Champaign students received financial aid, according to the Office of Student Financial Aid. To be fully considered for financial aid, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (more commonly known as FAFSA) forms should have been completed by March 15, so you may have missed the boat on that. However, financial aid in other forms may still be waiting for your application.

Scholarships are just one form of financial aid and hopefully you have looked into those that were administered by your high school and local communities. The Office of Student Financial Aid told me most scholarships have deadlines in March, but some state, federal and private scholarships still have open applications. To find these, check the scholarship page on the office’s Web site (http://www.osfa.uiuc.edu/aid/scholarships/uiuc.html). You can also fill out an Undergraduate Scholarship Supplement Form to assist you in finding scholarships you qualify for.

Like I said, it may be too late in many cases. But if there’s a chance you could pick up a couple extra hundred dollars here or there, take advantage of it. Find out what scholarships are still out there or get a jump start into looking what you should apply for in 2010.