Paying For College

Posted By Dirk Knudsen On Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 With 1 Comment















In Our vast experience too many people and especially athletes make the mistake of assuming that if they do not get a scholarship to go play their sport in college they will not be able to go at all.  But in the real world a high percentage of student athletes attend colleges and universities without a scholarship for their sport.

So as you approach this process ask yourself if getting the scholarship is the main thing you are trying to do and if it is the right thing to be chasing.

Assume for a minute that you are not able to get a scholarship.  Then what?  Are you done for?  Destined to pump gas or work at the local convenience store?


Now realize getting a scholarship is great.  And they come in all shapes and forms?  Division 3 schools do not have Athletic Scholarships yet their rosters are full of athletes who are there competing on grants, academic and need based awards, and yes… financial aide.

Some Division 1 sports are required to give you a “Full Ride” and some sports only offer a small percentage.

Does Division 2 offer $$ to play sports at their schools?  Yes.  But almost never the full amount.

So the first thing to do, and this is you Mom and Dad especially, is to take a deep breath and dig in.  Most of us in the real world are financing our kids to college and university through grants, Student Loans, parent loans, College savings plans, help from Grandma and Grandpa, and Scholarships of all types!

Here are some things to know as you approach this Financing issue.  Some athletes may be fortunate enought to get a full-ride but there are many with partial scholerships who will still require Financial Aid assistance. Below is information on Financial Aid available to college students and athletes.

Start with the FAFSA.  This is the place to get started no matter what sort of aide you think you might be able to get or need.

The FAFSA is the Place All Student Athletes Start
  Click here for all the Info to get started.

Check out too the  US Depart
ment of Education Website- Financial Aid  Click here for all the Info to get started.

 Here is the Goal.  Information is Power.  Understand that your options are wide open.  So make sure you understand all of your potential sources that you can use to get to college.  We want you to get a scholarship and no one is going to cheer for you or try to help you more then the Staff here at NWPR.  But read up gang cause there are some real choices for you!


1)  The Federal Pell Grant is a terrific option and if you qualify the best one there is. There is an income limit for the grant. The income limit is based on the expected family contribution, as well as household size and other determining factors. This is a huge one because the Pell Grant is a form of financial support that does not need to be repaid. The Pell Grant is money the federal government provides for students who need it to pay for college. Federal Pell Grants are limited to students with financial need, who have not earned their first bachelor’s degree or who are not enrolled in certain post-baccalaureate programs, through participating institutions. 

2)  Something else to look at is the  Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. The FSEOG Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Students can receive these grants at any one of approximately 4,000 participating postsecondary institutions. Institutional financial aid administrators at participating institutions have substantial flexibility in determining the amount of FSEOG awards to provide students who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment.  

3)   A Merit Based Grant is any kind of grant that has specific requirements in order for you to qualify for the award. As opposed to Need Based Grants which require you fall within certain income requirement to qualify, merit based grants typically involve a combination of academic and income factors into consideration. A common form of merit based grant are State Grants. State grants usually have an income limitation.

If you fall within this income bracket, it does not automatically put you into the game. You have to have the grades as well to qualify. Other forms of the Merit Based Grant are very similar to scholarships. They don’t have to be paid back. They can be funded by organizations or companies and can look impressive on your future resume. Merit Based Grants are awarded based on academic excellence. Criteria for receiving these grants include test scores and grade point average (GPA).  Find Out More Here

4)  The Academic Competitiveness Grant The Academic Competitiveness Grant, more commonly known by its acronym ACG, was a federal assistance grant reserved for college students with the greatest need for financial aid to attend school.   This program is being phased our however.

5)  Check out Fast Web which is a website that lists student grants and scholarships.   This is amazing service that will track your needs and send you information about all the available scholarships out there.

6)  Make sure to check out all the great grants and information at

7)  In Oregon you also have a chance to get funds through some sources aimed at helping Oregonians get to college.  Make sure to see all the options right here at

8) In Washington Make sure you look at the many many options for funding your collegiate years; there are a lot of options available to citizens of this State.

9) In Idaho there are a lot of Options too for Grants and Aid.  Check all those out specifically right here



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  1. Andy Wood says:

    Dirk, I am just starting to dig into all the tools you have provided. What a great job! Thank you for "showing us the way"!
    Andy Wood

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