Exploring other funding opportunities

Scholarship is not the only way you can fund your higher education be it college or university, undergraduate or postgraduate studies. Without a doubt, scholarships are a great way to reduce or eliminate the chasm between your budget and rising tuition costs. But there are other excellent funding avenues that you can explore to make your higher education dreams come true if scholarships are not forthcoming for you.

Some of them are as good as scholarships even. Below is a list of other funding opportunities (apart from scholarships) available to students who want to start or continue their higher education.

Loans: If savings (plus grants and scholarships) are not adequate to fund your higher education fully, obtaining a private or public student loan is well worth considering. This involves getting a loan to finance your education and paying back after you graduate. It’s essential to look out for the best possible deal while also ensuring to engage a reputable lender. It’s equally wise to go for a loan that has rational interest rates as well as borrower-friendly terms of repayment so that you won’t be burdened with inordinate debt upon graduation.

Subsidy: Subsidy for higher education is typically undertaken by the government, and usually involves the reduction of tuition fees to the minimal level by higher institutions who get grants from the government. This means that the high costs of tuition, fees, room and board are subsidized usually by the federal government so that students can afford them.

Financial aid: Financial aid for students in tertiary institutions, usually provided by the government, takes two forms: grants and loans. Grants, in the case of financial aid, are somewhat like scholarships save for one exception, they are usually based on financial need and not necessarily on academic merit which could as well be a factor. When students get grants which is essentially free money, they are not expected to pay back unless it is reverted to standard student loans if the student doesn’t meet certain obligations.

Grants: Grants are essentially free money, a form of scholarship, to study in a higher institution without which most students won’t realise their higher education dreams. Grants are given by federal and state governments as well as by private organisations and bodies. Grants usually have different eligibility criteria and other details based on the provider. There are various grants for various groups of students from various providers.

Fellowships: A fellowship gives financial support to graduate students to pursue graduate studies without the extra load of student loans or part-time jobs or even associated research or teaching responsibilities. Fellowships are by and large merit-based external or internal awards to fund a student in a full-time course of study lasting months or years in order for them to expand their professional credentials.

Endowment: An endowment is usually established as an investment fund by a foundation that withdraws consistently from the invested capital. Endowment funds typically are entirely funded by donations deductible for the donors and the capital is often used by non-profit organisations, hospitals and universities for utilisation for particular needs. In this case, students can benefit from education endowments from universities or other bodies. Beneficiaries are not expected to pay back the donors or foundation.

Stipend: The word "stipend" is typically used to refer to a fixed payment amount given. So, unlike a grant, a stipend often has work and duty conditions. Unlike a wage or salary, it is not paid strictly on the basis of hours worked. It is usually contained in a graduate student's packages. The student get an educational stipend and in exchange there is a description of the things they have to do, comprising work, teaching, study, etc. Educational stipends can also be awarded as a scholarship.

Tuition waiver: A tuition waiver is a kind of financial award in which case a higher institution surrenders its rights to charge a student tuition. Tuition waivers are granted largely on the basis of the strength of a student’s application. At times, the student’s status is a factor of their being ex-military, a minority or belonging to some other privileged category. Tuition waivers generally have no strings attached, and they may be partial or full. A partial tuition waiver means a reduction in your expense while full waiver means you don’t pay anything at all.

Studentship: A studentship is a kind of academic scholarship. It is a payment or grant to support a student's education, and is awarded on the basis of academic or other accomplishment. Categories of studentships differ among countries and universities. Studentships are at times referred to as teaching and research assistantships. They are almost entirely granted to research students, preferably those at the doctoral level.

Awards: Upon their stellar academic performance in a higher institution, several higher institutions together with well-meaning individuals, bodies and organisations give students awards which usually include financial support to cover for their tuition, room and board, books and other course materials or living expenses in subsequent school years or in an even higher level of education (graduate and postgraduate).

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