You’ve sent in your application and finished your FAFSA, so now what? After you submit your FAFSA, it is time to continue your search for funding. Most UF students take advantage of potential scholarship opportunities to help pay for school.
“My first year, I started off by having a scholarship from the Immokalee Foundation through Florida Prepaid,” says Amy Montez, a third-year public health major. “Coming into UF, I didn’t know if I would have my tuition paid for all four years, so I thought that if I had to, I would take out a loan.” Amy did take out a loan to study abroad but received other aid to pay for her regular schooling. Loans can feel very daunting, but Amy knows that they are worth the investment in her future. Often students find ways to avoid or limit loans by applying for various scholarships.
Most scholarships have specific requirements for applicants. For example, the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, funded by the state of Florida, provides scholarships based on high school academic achievement. The Machen Florida Opportunity Scholarship helps Florida residents who are first-generation college students and have demonstrated financial need. The Benacquisto Scholarship is available for National Merit and Achievement Scholars. On the UF Student Financial Affairs (SFA) website, you can learn more about these scholarships and view many others using the SFA scholarship search site.
Reducing some of the pressure of paying for school will allow you to make a confident decision to choose UF. Woody Noel, a third-year education sciences major, says: “When I got the scholarships and when I got the financial aid statement and put it all together, it helped me realize that I would be able to come to UF.”
“I applied for scholarships a lot,” says Coral Bailey, a third-year telecommunications major. “I found them through the College of Journalism or on UF’s [SFA] website. Sometimes I’d just go all day and apply for different ones until I got something. They have so many available, it’s just nobody applies for them.”
It is within your reach to find significant help to pay for college. “I wanted to get an education and I was going to find a way to pay for it, regardless,” shares Coral. If you, like Coral, are dedicated to seeking out funding, know that there are loans, scholarships and grants which will make it possible to attend UF.