Left Handed Scholarships & Grants
With college tuition rising at an average of 8% a year, it is definitely worth it to try and obtain grants and scholarships to help with tuition and living expenses. One day college may be free again, but for now it is costly. There are multiple avenues and sources of funding for college undergrads, but the best place to start is by applying for the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is available at fafsa.ed.gov. It will take into account you (and your parents, if you are under 24) previous year’s income and other variables to help determine how much you and your family should be contributing to college expenses. The college you plan to attend will receive the application, and from there will create a financial aid package that may include grants, some institutional scholarships, and federal student loans.
The Federal Pell Grant is a need based grant, and currently maxes out at $5,500 per school year.
Loaned directly from the government, Stafford Loans are the best option if you and your family choose to take on student debt. Financial aid packages are usually front loaded, meaning you get the most amount of free money for tuition during your first years in college.
As you progress through your freshman and sophomore years, the amount of Stafford Loans you are able to take out goes up. Visit http://www.finaid.org/loans/studentloan.phtml for more in depth information on Federal Stafford Loans.
More Financial Aid Sources
Most colleges, private and public, will give some form of institutional aid to its incoming students. Dollar amounts will vary from person to person and from college to college, and are usually determined by factors such as financial need and academic merit. It is advised to apply to multiple colleges and see who gives the best financial aid package.
If you choose to do so, you can shop around different lenders for low rates on private student loans. Note, however, that banks are not as forgiving in regards to payment terms as the federal government is, so proceed with caution.
Many times the financial aid package won’t cover everything. There are outside grants and scholarships available to individuals who meet certain criteria, such as: belonging to a certain Native American tribe, first in the family to attend college, or simply being left handed.
Scholarships & Grants for Lefties
Grants and scholarships for left handed students would fall under the “unusual” category. But when a wealthy person decides to give away portions of their estate to others in need, they get to call the shots. A particular grantor may have had trouble in school as a left handed student, and later in life found it necessary to give a little back to people who may be experiencing the same difficulties.
One such grantor is the Frederick and Mary T. Beckley Scholarship for Left Handed Students. Up to $1,000 is awarded to a student who meets their criteria, but only if that student is attending Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA. You can visit their website and look around to see if any of their academic programs are of interest to you http://www.juniata.edu/. Unfortunately, that is the only verified scholarship available to specifically left handed students. However many left handed students are creative types & may apply for various other artistic scholarships & various weird scholarship programs.
Other Sources of Funding
Visit sites such as finaid.org, studentaid.ed.gov, fastweb.com, and browse around to see if you meet other criteria in which there is another source of college funding. Of course, always check with your college or prospective colleges to see what kinds of scholarships and grants are available, and when the deadline to apply is. Your local library is also a valuable resource, and most usually carry detailed lists of grantors and their selection criteria.