5 Ways to Get Free College Money

By Leo Dullovi and Brock Seals

  Illustration By Brock Seals

Illustration By Brock Seals

Paying for college can be overwhelming but there are plenty of resources that students can use to help aid them.  For example every student who has completed a FAFSA will be eligible for a Pell Grant. ACT and college application waivers are available for students who need financial assistance. In some cases students can join several programs for assistance. Helpful opportunities include the Scholarship Foundation, the A+ program and more! Check out the resources and programs we have listed below!

Apply for a Pell Grant

The good thing about a Pell Grant is that you don’t have to pay it back. Loans can double in interest and have you in debt for years.  Undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional are eligible for the Pell Grant. The maximum award a student can receive is $5,775. The amount you get will depend on your financial need, your status as a full time or part time student, your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less and your total cost of school. When receiving this large disbursement it’s important to budget. Make mindful decisions with that pell grant!  Make sure you cover your necessities such as books, housing & other supplies.

Take the ACT for Free

The ACT costs $29.00 + $14.00 (optional writing test) + 19.00 (Late Fee). An ACT waiver will cover those costs. You can only receive 2 waivers throughout your high school career. To be eligible for this waiver you must be currently enrolled in high school in the 11th or 12th grade. You must also meet one or more indicators of economic need listed on the ACT Fee Waiver form.  You can access this waiver through your schools counselor. Keep in mind that the waiver is used once you register, even if you do not test on the requested test date.

Get Your College Fee Waived

Students who display financial need can request a college application fee waiver from their counselor. Some application fees can range from $50-$150.00. Every college in Missouri accepts a fee waiver for applying.

 Keep it Interest Free

The St. Louis Scholarship Foundation is a great resource for interest free loans and grants. The Bravo Grant recognizes individuals who have overcome great personal adversity to achieve their educational goals. When applying for this grant, you will have to use the common application which can be done online. In 2014, The Scholarship Foundation awarded 155 students up to $800,000.

It Pays to be in the A+ Program

If you are someone who doesn’t want to enroll into a university and be in debt for the rest of your life, using the A+ program can help pay for community college or technical schools. You can access this program online or at your high school. To be eligible for this you must complete the FAFSA application, perform 50 hours of community service or shadowing, have 95% attendance in high school, and a grade point average of 2.5 or higher.

There are many resources for prospective college students. Don’t be discouraged by all of the applications you’ll have to fill out. Be proactive on your journey.