Financial Aid & Scholarships


"Success doesn't come to you ... you go to it."  Marva Collins  
 Scholarship Scams - A good rule of thumb: If you have to pay money in order to qualify for a “scholarship program ” or a “scholarship service,” it is almost certainly a scam. Visit the Scholarship Scams page to learn more.


STEP 1:  SAVE MONEY $$$$  One of the first steps to financing your college education is saving money.  Click on the link to find out how:Saving for College
STEP 2:  RESEARCH $$$  It is never to early too start researching scholarship information.  Students are encouraged to compile a list of scholarships from both the universities they plan to attend and from other external sources.  When reviewing university scholarships visit their website for a listing of scholarship and financial aid resources available (also research within the departments you are pursuing (i.e. engineering, music, art, etc), alumni (campus and local chapters).  Organize yourself by creating an excel sheet that list the following information:

- Name of Scholarship
- Website address/address to request scholarship application
- Deadlines (priority, hard deadline, postmark deadline)
- Requirements (essay(s), SAT/ACT scores, grade level, letter of recommendation, etc.)

STEP 3:  FAFSA (F-R-E-E Application for Federal Student Aid at  Follow these Cafe College tips:

Completing the F-R-E-E Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA - ) is the first step in the financial aid process. You must fill out the FAFSA to apply for federal student financial aid, such as the Pell Grant, student loans, and college work-study. New York State and most colleges use your FAFSA to make their financial aid awards as well.

The sooner you fill out your FAFSA, the better.  Many types of financial aid are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, so it’s to your advantage to file as early as possible.  Check with your college and file in time to meet the earliest deadline. It’s important to meet all deadlines!

Click on the 5  Cafe College Links to begin your financial aid journey:

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)  
  • Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA)
  • Types of Grants
  • Types of Loans
  • Work Study

Apply for Financial Aid Every Year!
Remember, you need to complete the FAFSA not just once, but every year you plan to attend school.  If you filled out a FAFSA the year before, you can probably use the shorter Renewal FAFSA.

FAFSA Completion Resources
Need help with the FAFSA® but don’t know where to start? Use the FAFSA Assistant for tips and advice.
Discover also has a free FAFSA assistant tool

Click on this link to access:  "AID FOR COLLEGE IN TEXAS"

By taking these steps early you will not only stay organized but also be ahead of the game.

Scholarship Scams - A good rule of thumb: If you have to pay money in order to qualify for a “scholarship program ” or a “scholarship service,” it is almost certainly a scam. Visit the Scholarship Scams page to learn more.

Listed are some useful websites to help you start your scholarship search.  These websites are databases that require you to answer a series of questions to help match you with potential scholarship opportunities and it is important that you answer all questions.  Alamo Heights does not endorse these websites although they are a great resource to help you get started in your scholarship search.

Netprice Calculator - What is the Netprice Calculator?  Click on this link to learn more:  NETPRICE CALC

Website to help answer questions:  Sallie Mae Resources

Scholarship Databases

College Net

College Board Search

Discover has a scholarship site that does not require registration so students are not overwhelmed with emails like other sites.  Discover's Scholarship Search engine contains over 3 Million scholarships and information about Discover's scholarship.

Free Scholarship Search

Minnie Steven's Piper Foundation

School Soup 

Wired Scholar

USA Funds

www.finaid.orgThe calculator featured on this site is a great tool for figuring out exactly how much you will need in scholarships. Gates Millennium Undergraduate Scholars Program - Jackie Robinson Foundation, Inc. - A free college scholarship search and financial aid resource. It provides links to contests that offer scholarship awards up to $10,000. - United Negro College Fund - provides resources and scholarships for African American students. Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund - provides resources and scholarships for Asian American students.

www.hsf.netHispanic Scholarship Fund - Provides resources and scholarships for Latino/Hispanic students. and - Bureau of Indian Education and the American Indian College Fund – provides resources and scholarships for Native American students. 

Additional Resources
Students and parents can get additional scholarship and financial aid resources through the Listing Folder link on the Alamo Heights College Center website.  We encourage you to take this time to begin the steps to help you pay for college.  Also, meet with the College Admissions Counselor to learn about additional opportunities available at our school.
CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
WHAT is the PROFILE? The PROFILE is an online application that collects information used by certain
colleges and scholarship programs to award institutional aid funds. (All federal funds are awarded based on the FAFSA, available after Jan. 1 Some colleges may require additional information, such as tax returns or an institutional application. If your parents are divorced, some colleges will also require your noncustodial parent to complete the Noncustodial PROFILE.  Click on this link to find out more about The College Board's: CSS / Financial Aid Profile


Please visit the "Naviance College Family Connection" link where you will find all scholarships that are sent to the college center.

Navigating the maze can be intimidating, but ACT can help smooth your path. Visit their financial aid website

for an overview in easy-to-understand language, plus a list of resources for more information about loans, scholarships, government programs, and other financial aid options.

Federal financial aid is available for students who plan to attend four-year or two-year, public or private, career or trade schools. The aid is intended to cover expenses such as tuition, room and board, books and other supplies, and transportation. Most financial aid is given because a student has demonstrated a need for it.

Some grants and scholarships

are awarded to students based on their grades, accomplishments, or other personal characteristics, rather than financial need. To maximize your students chances of receiving a scholarship, you and your student will need to research the scholarships available and work to complete the applications.

You might want to check out these two scholarship programs that ACT helps develop and administer: MassMutual Scholars Program

and Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.


Application periods for both programs open in early January. Be sure to tap your students high school counselor and financial aid offices at the colleges or schools where your student has applied for help as you make your way through the financial aid maze.

You may also want to check out these online resources also provided by ACT:

*  Federal Student Aid Information Center

* Federal Student Aid

* Guide to government grants and student loans

* Comprehensive student financial aid information, advice, and tools

* Information about new federal student loan payment and forgiveness programs

*Advice for understanding borrowing to pay for higher education and how it affects families

The U.S Department of State Announces
Scholarships for American High School
Students to Study Abroad

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) offers merit-based scholarships to study one of seven critical foreign languages: Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, and Turkish. The NSLI-Y program is designed to immerse participants in the cultural life of the host country, provide formal and informal language practice, and spark a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures. The application deadline for summer 2016 and academic year 2016-2017 programs is October 29, 2015. Visit for more information.

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program offers merit-based scholarships to spend an academic year in countries that may include Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, Senegal, Thailand, and Turkey. This program increased understanding between people in the United States and people in countries with significant Muslim populations. Students live with host families, attend local high schools, do community service, and complete a capstone project. Applications for academic year 2016-17 programs are due December 1, 2015. Visit for more information.

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) offers merit-based scholarships for an academic year in Germany. The program was established in 1983 to celebrate German-American friendship based on common values of democracy. Students live with host families, attend local schools, and participate in community life in Germany. For more information, and applications deadlines, visit the organization in charge of recruitment for your state at Deadlines for U.S. applicants range from December 1, 2015 to January 15, 2016, depending on state of residency.

For more information on exchanges sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit or watch this video about U.S. high school student exchanges. To receive printed brochures and/or posters about our study abroad opportunities, send an email with your request to [email protected].

For more information on having an international experience without leaving home, consider hosting a Department of State-sponsored exchange student. Learn more at 


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