Finding Information on Financial Aid and Scholarships

Applying for scholarships is one of the best ways to ensure you get the education you need for your future career options. First step: Go online to the financial aid information section of Career Information System (CIS).

CIS has details and application information about thousands of financial aid and scholarship programs – all you have to do is sort, review and apply.

The financial aid information in CIS is your best bet for scholarship leads:

  • This online program is most likely available at your school – ask at the counselor’s office, library or career center. You may have already have a personal CIS portfolio already set up.
    If your school doesn’t have its own sign-in,  log in as a guest.
  • Scholarship information is updated at least every year – you won’t see out-of-date program links or programs that ended years ago.
  • A sorting tool is available to help create a shorter list of scholarships and other aid programs – what you’d like to study, your activities, interests, areas of excellence and more.
  • You don’t have to pursue a four-year college or university to get financial aid. Scholarship Information is also available for trade or technical schools, two-year associate degrees.
  • Check out the special section for Idaho residents, where the application pool for aid programs is much smaller.
  • CIS is FREE.  Be wary of scholarship sales offers with links guaranteeing money — no one can guarantee that.

Now is the time to start this process. Many scholarships have early spring deadlines; you can make “deadline date” part of your sort. You should already  be working on your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid); lots of other scholarships use this same application form.

Get your FAFSA in as soon as possible before federal aid programs are exhausted for the year. Ask your counselor – many high schools and local colleges provide community FAFSA assistance workshops.

Scholarships are also available directly from the State Board of Education.

Finally, be sure to check out the overview Paying for School information. Discuss it with your parents or whoever will help you realize your education goals. As long as you’re willing to do the work, you’re likely to see some great results.

– Terry Mocettini,
training, support and marketing coordinator,
Idaho Career Information System