Arizona Daily Wildcat
$1 billion available through 600,000 types of scholarships
UA students can take advantage of the $220 million available every year to pay for tuition and other school-related expenses.
Through financial aid, grants, work-study programs and scholarships, students can reduce or defer costs of tuition, books and living expenses.
When students fill out their Free Application For Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, they become eligible for financial aid, grants and scholarships, said John Nametz, director of need-based aid in the Student Financial Aid office.
"Students really need to apply," he said. "Most students that receive one receive the other."
Twenty-four million dollars is available in grants, $13 million of that is through Pell grants. Students from low-income families with an income in the mid-$40,000 range are eligible for the grants.
Resident and non-resident set-aside grants are also available to University of Arizona students. He said those grants receive 8 percent of the $220 million funds that the financial aid office receives.
Private scholarships are available from the university and various private donors.
The UA's financial aid Web site, http://w3.arizona.edu/~finaid/index.htm, links students to scholarship databases.
More than $1 billion in scholarships and 600,000 different types of aid are available to students, said Nancy Williams, vice-president of marketing for EDTECH, a scholarship database.
"There are all types of different aid," Williams said. "Some are need based." She said others are based on grade point average and test scores.
The service matches students with scholarships through a 58-question survey that is filled out online. The results come within two hours, she said.
The free service narrows down the scholarship search for students. Students have the potential for 15 to 20 matches, she added.
Williams said students need to apply one year before they need the money.
"A lot of scholarships have deadlines that expire," she said.
The scholarships come from private sources such as the American Legion and the United Parcel Service.
"I've taken a loan every semester," said Adam Keller, media arts senior. He said scholarships have not appealed to him.
"I've looked before, nothing seemed to present itself that would work out for me."
Upon graduation in December, Keller said he will owe about $12,000, accumulated through in-state tuition, books and housing.
The average student owes $17,143 in loans after graduation, Nametz said. Another option for students is work-study and university employment.
Work-study is a "specific, narrow program," Nametz said. About $1.8 million to $2 million is available.