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18 Resources Alaska Residents Should Know About Paying for College

Searching for the money to fund your college education can be exhausting, especially if you don’t know where to look.

The good news for Alaska residents is that financial aid opportunities exist to help you fund your education, and you don’t have to be the smartest in your school or demonstrate extreme financial need to qualify for all of them, either.

Alaska offers scholarships and grants that students can apply for, and public and private organizations may be able to provide sources of funding, too.

Let’s walk through the four steps all Alaska residents should take when funding a college education.

Step 1: Apply for Federal Funding

Your financial aid journey starts with the same form used by every other college-bound student in the United States—with the FAFSA. This stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and this one form will help determine your eligibility for several government-funded scholarships and grants.

Get ready, this is a long form (that’s why we’ve whipped up a helpful guide to answer your questions along the way). It’s in your best interest to complete it, however, because the aid opportunities you could qualify for are too good to pass up.

Submitting the FAFSA has the potential to qualify you for:

  • Federal grants
  • Federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans
  • Some state grants
  • Some types of financial aid offered directly through the college you plan to attend

Try to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. It’s a required step in most scholarship and grant applications, some of which have early deadlines.

Step 2: Apply for State Funding and Scholarships

Now that you have finished applying for FAFSA, you can move on to less stressful parts of your search. This means applying for scholarships and grants administered at the state level.

Alaska scholarships include:

Alaska grants include:

  • Alaska Education Grant (AEG) for Alaska residents enrolled in an eligible Alaska undergraduate or vocational institution. Grants range between $500 and $4,000.

In addition to scholarships and grants, Alaska offers exchange programs for Alaska residents, which provide program-specific loans to help fund tuition costs at out-of-state institutions.

You can find more information on Alaska state-funded financial aid, here.

Step 3: Apply for Institutional, Local and National Scholarships

But wait, there’s more! Not all financial aid is offered at the federal or state level. You may be eligible for local or privately administered aid as well.

Conducting internet searches of your own is a smart way to explore your full range of options, and learn about smaller scholarship and grant opportunities that may be applicable to you.

You can use websites such as CollegeScholarships.com to view multiple scholarships open to state residents, or to search for aid based on personal characteristics or skill sets.

For school-specific aid, check out The National Database of Scholarships to view scholarships and grants offered at Alaska state universities, or visit the financial aid website of the school you are applying to.

Current high school students should make an effort to visit a high school guidance counselor to discuss these options. Your counselor can direct you to scholarship and grant applications that cater to your skills or needs. Set a reminder in your smartphone so that you don’t forget to show up to your appointment—even a short meeting could be more helpful than you think.

Some other scholarship resources that you might want to check out include:

Step 4: Apply for a Private Loan

If you’re still looking for more financial aid, a private loan may be able to provide the extra funds you need to pay your college tuition.

Use our free NitroScore tool to get a better idea of how a private student loan will impact your financial future.

To use the tool, enter a college and major into the boxes provides. From there, NitroScore will generate your potential future salary, and tell you how easy your loans should be to repay. You can customize your information with info about savings, or scholarship and grant opportunities. Feel free to play around with different college and major combinations to find something that works best for you.

A college education shouldn’t be out of reach for Alaska residents. Start your financial aid search today.

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