Federal grant-based financial aid is a finite resource. There's only so much grant money, and only those families who are truly impoverished get it. Families which can or should have saved for college don't get that grant money, because it's for families who literally could not save for college, because...
Best answer: Federal grant-based financial aid is a finite resource. There's only so much grant money, and only those families who are truly impoverished get it. Families which can or should have saved for college don't get that grant money, because it's for families who literally could not save for college, because they are truly impoverished. In fact, some states run out of their bucket of federal aid before they run out of impoverished students - so it really is that there's only so much money for these grants out there.
Note as well that these federal grants are limited - what you can get each year has a dollar limit, and it's not high. If you're super poor, you may get enough in grants to pay for tuition at your local community college. It won't be enough to pay tuition at a public uni in your home state. And most private unis can't give enough aid to cover all costs (there are some exceptions at the elite level.) So it's not like poor students get to go to uni for free in most cases. Most would need to take out loans in addition to getting the Pell Grant, for example.
That doesn't mean that you, yourself won't qualify for grants and scholarships. You may qualify for merit aid - scholarships and grants given usually by the unis themselves, and which aren't based on income. It also doesn't mean that you won't qualify for student loans - you will. You may also qualify for certain types of aid given by your state. And you qualify for the lower, in-state rate on tuition at any public college in your home state, which can help. And of course, there are the private scholarships you mentioned.
There are also some schools which are free to attend, if you can get in. Otis College of Engineering. Deep Springs. The military academies. College of the Ozarks. Etc. There's also the ROTC option.
Talk to guidance at your school to find good resources for those private scholarships, and apply to some of them. In addition, talk to guidance or use resources like US News to find schools that tend to give merit scholarships, look into them to find some unis that offer merit aid that suits you (Not all are only for A students, either. For example, Ball State U offers a scholarship for students with a C average who want to major in comm, U Maine offers scholarships to out of state students, etc.) and include some of those on your lists. And consider applying to some good public unis in your home state, where you get the lower, in-state rate on tuition.
4 days ago