How To Get Into College For Free

Getting accepted into college is only half the battle, paying for college is the next thing you’ll have to tackle.  There’s no doubt about it…college is expensive, period.

Given the current economic environment, many high school students and their parents want to know how to get into college for free.  In this article we’ll discuss 3 possible ways to get into college for free.

1.  Fill Out the FAFSA Early!

What is a FAFSA?  A FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a financial aid application form that you will need to apply for the following 3 things: Federal & State Student Grants, Work-Study, and Loans.

January 1st is the first day that high school seniors are eligible to file their FAFSA.  You should try to file as close to this day as possible.  The competition for financial aid is fierce during tough economic times, so it’s important to plan ahead rather than procrastinate.  The sooner you fill out the form, the better chance you’ll have a receiving some type of federal aid, preferably federal and/or state grants.

You can complete the FAFSA form online at:

2.  Start Your Scholarship Search Early

You can start researching scholarships as early as your sophomore year.  A lot of scholarships are standard and recurring.  Starting early will allow you to get a jump on application and essay requirements.

You can do this by using a free scholarship search service.  Below are a few free scholarship search websites:

The more scholarships you apply for, the better your chances are of being awarded multiple scholarships, and therefore the better your chances are of being able to get into college for free.

3.  Research Merit-Based Scholarships

Many colleges will offer full or partial merit-based scholarships to some of their top students who have been admitted to their school. As you can imagine, these scholarships are usually very competitive and are based on your grades in high school and standardized test scores on the ACT or SAT.

The availability and eligibility for merit-based scholarships vary from school to school, so it is important to inquire about such scholarships as you proceed through the application process.  In some cases these awards will pay for all 4 years of tuition.  This is another way to get into college for free.

Related Posts

The following two tabs change content below.


Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

Latest posts by TheCollegeHelper (see all)