Paying for College

Paying Room and Board Without Loans

Question: I received a full-tuition scholarship to a college, but still have to pay room and board. At $13,000, this is a lot for my family, and I was wondering if you had suggestions on how to finance this besides with loans. The school said I can still apply for financial aid, but all the money would have to be federal grants. Any other scholarships I receive will be deducted from the scholarship they already gave me. So is there any way to find a scholarship that the school won't deduct from the initial grant? Thanks so much!

Congratulations on your full-tuition scholarship. If you qualify for federal grants, then you should definitely pursue that route. Unfortunately, many colleges do have a nasty habit of subtracting outside scholarships from financial aid packages. When that money is lopped off of loans, it’s rarely a problem. But when it comes off of grant money (the good stuff that you’ve already been promised and which you don’t have to pay back), it can be very frustrating, especially if you took the time to apply for that outside scholarship in the first place.

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