Need money for college -- it's available!

By , Education editor of The Christian Science monitor

Here's some very important information about a pot of gold for high school students who want to go on to college and need financial help. Every college and university has at least one financial aid officer who not only knows what special funds are available to students at his or her particular institution, but can tell potential students how they might qualify for state or federal government grants and loans.

There are, as well, at least 250,000 nongovernment sources of funds which, incredibly, aren't able to give away all the money they have.

According to Ed Rosenwasser, reached by phone in Houston, more than $100 million goes "begging" each year.

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He confirms, too, what the Monitor has been told by church groups, that not enough qualified students apply for their interest-free loans.

Of course, one of the reasons students don't apply for these private funds is that they don't know they are available or how to qualify for them.

And it's true, too, that some of the funding sources just don't provide enough money to make the search for the funds worthwhile.

There are some helpful source books -- the American Legion's "Need a Lift?" is one, and is available at no charge by writing: American Legion, 1608 K Street , N.W, Washington, D.C. 20006

Mr. Rosenwasser's computer service matches students to available nongovernment funding sources for a $45 fee. (Student College Aid, 3641 Deal Street, Houston, TX 77025.)

As Ed Rosenwasser explains, a student fills out a form which doesn't ask for financial information, but for background data and interests. Then the coded data is fed into a computer which matches student needs (and background data) with funding sources, and provides printout, complete with names and addresses.

Two other scholarship search companies that charge a fee are: National Scholarship Research Service, 88 Belvedere Street, Suite E, San Rafael, CA 94901 , Scholarship Search, 1775 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.

Generally church loans are either low-interest or no-interest, with a request tht a student pay back the loan when and if it is convenient. It's a kind of moral commitment, to help others as you were helped.

Some of these loans have restrictions: some designate membership in a specific church; often a ceiling exists on the amount that can be borrowed; and some may possibly be tied to grade-point averages.

Such a fund (Albert Baker Fund, Suite 350, 703 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103) is available, for example, to Christian Scientists for both graduate and undergraduate study.

Many industries and membership associations also offer both grants and loans. One such is the United Transportation Union (14600 Detroit Av., Cleveland, OH 44107) which provides grants to all children of union parents or grandparents for post-secondary schooling.

If you need financial aid for the 1982-1983 school year, or anticipate the need in the near future, you would do well to begin your search now, either doing your own research in the local public library, by contacting a college financial aid officer, a local church official, or by investing in a computerized scholarship locater service.

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