Important Phone Numbers
- USF Financial Aid Services (toll free): 866-890-8331
- Federal Student Aid Information: 800-433-3243
- Hearing-Impaired: TDD*: 800-730-8913
- FAFSA on the Web (customer service): 800-433-3243 or 319-337-5665
- Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC): 800-899-4722
- Federal Student Aid Ombudsman – Helps to resolve disputes and solve other problems with federal student loans.
- studentaid.gov – Information on the eligibility requirements for the U.S. Department of Education’s student aid programs.
- finaid.org – NASFAA’s Financial Aid Information Page and links to at least three FREE scholarship searches
- mappingyourfuture.org – Information on selecting a school and paying for college
- acenet.edu – American Council on Education with Information for college selection and scholarships
- review.com – The Princeton Review – Scholarship and Aid Information
- collegeboard.org – Scholarship search
- scholarships.com – Scholarship search
- IEFA.org – Scholarship search for international study
- aanp.org – American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
- ihs.gov/scholarship – Indian Health Service Programs
- accreditedschoolsonline.org/nursing-schools/scholarships-and-financial-aid – Accredited Schools Online for nursing scholarships
- nhsc.hrsa.gov – National Health Service Corps: Scholarship & Loan Repayment Programs
- Campus R.N. Jobs – Search thousands of entry level jobs, externships & scholarship opportunities
- fafsa.gov – FAFSA On the Web (online submission of FAFSA)
- isac.org – Illinois Student Assistance Commission web-site and scholarship search
- sss.gov – Register for selective service or verify registration status
- ssa.gov – Download forms to apply for a social security number or obtain a replacement card
- collegeillinois.com – Prepaid tuition program
- savingsbonds.gov – Savings Bond Wizard – allows you to determine current redemption value and earned interest
- app.idph.state.il.us/ruralhealth/nesp – Illinois Department of Public Health
- gibill.va.gov – Veteran Affairs
- www2.illinois.gov/veterans/ – Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs
- hed.state.nm.us – New Mexico Higher Education Department: scholarship & loan repayment programs
If you have to pay money to get money, it’s probably a scam. Every year, several hundred thousand students and parents are defrauded by scholarship scams. The victims of these scams lose more than $100 million annually. Scam operations often imitate legitimate government agencies, grant-giving foundations, education lenders and scholarship matching services, using official-sounding names containing words like “National,” “Federal,” “Foundation,” or “Administration.” In general, be wary of scholarships with an application fee, scholarship matching services who guarantee success, advance-fee loan scams and sales pitches disguised as financial aid “seminars”.
- State agencies – Look for opportunities through the higher education agency in your state or for your chosen degree program such as the Illinois Board of Higher Education or the Illinois Department of Public Health.
- Ethnic background – Awards are given to students of certain ethnic or minority groups. You may be able to receive an award even if your ethnicity is only partial.
- Disability – You may be eligible for additional aid if you are physically challenged, have a learning disability or suffer from a long-term illness.
- Professional associations – Many professional associations offer scholarships to encourage students in their field.
- The religious community – Churches and other places of worship often sponsor scholarships. You may not have to be a member to qualify.
- Your parents’ employers – Check with your parents’ employers or labor unions to see if they offer awards to children of their employees.
- Community service – Some providers offer awards based on the amount of community service you have performed.
- Do your research– Check out free scholarship websites to find scholarships that match your profile. The more you apply, the better your chances or receiving one.
- Start writing essays now – Common themes include: future plans, career goals and heroes that have been an influence in your life.
- Learn from previous winners – Review past winning applications, essays and other materials.
- Organize scholarships by deadline date – An organized list of awards will help you plan which awards to apply for first.
- Create activity profile – Keep a list of activities that you can refer to; include the responsibilities you had while involved.