Scholarships vs. Financial Aid

When a person hears the words “Financial Aid” they tend to think of scholarships and free money. The facts are that scholarships represent only 3% of the total money awarded for school costs. Unless your child is a star athlete or scores in the top 10% on the SAT or ACT you better plan on applying for financial aid.

What happens if you are given a scholarship AFTER you have received a financial aid package?

You have an obligation to keep your FASFA form current and one of the questions asked is whether you received “any financial assistance from any source”. If you answer no, which may have been correct at the time, you are obligated to disclose any awards you receive, including from distant relatives.   As a practical matter, the college you select will already know what aid you’ve been approved for and make the appropriate adjustments.

What if you truly expect a full scholarship, should you wait to apply for aid?

NO!  There are deadlines to apply for financial aid most students won’t know early enough if they are going to receive a scholarship or how much the scholarship is for.

What about all the websites and scholarship search tools?

We encourage all our clients to pursue every possible scholarship.  In reality though, most are only enough for a few take out dinners.  We do not investigate or search for scholarship money.  Since it is hit and miss, we are inclined to go where we know the money is – the Federal Government and private endowments.


Contact David Disraeli at 512-464-1110 or

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