Overview

Searching the Web

There are many places on the Web where students can learn about funding for education. While we, at South Seattle Community College, do not assume any liability or responsibility for the content of these web sites, students may find the following resources useful:

  • The Wash Board
    This website is a resource for Washington students seeking scholarships. The site, managed by the Washington Scholarship Coalition, matches students with scholarships they may be eligible for.
  • Financial Aid - The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid:
    This site is full of information about different types of financial aid - scholarships, loans, military aid, grants and much more.
  • Scholarship Help:
    Easy to use, comprehensive web site that guides you through the scholarship application process - evaluating scholarship opportunities, organizing and writing your essay, getting letters of recommendation and more.
  • American Indian College Fund:
    Provides scholarships and other support for the nation's 33 tribal colleges.
  • College Board:
    Complete the brief questionnaire and Scholarship Search will find potential opportunities from their database of more than 2,300 sources of college funding, totaling nearly $3 billion in available aid.
  • College Answer:
    College Answer features over 600,000 scholarships, grants, tuition waivers, internships and fellowships totaling over $1 billion.
  • College Net:
    This database features over 600,000 scholarships from 1,500 sponsors.
  • Education Planner:
    This site has a free scholarship search engine.
  • Fast Web:
    This database is one of the most complete sources of local, national, and college-specific scholarships.
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund:
    The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) is the nation's leading organization supporting Hispanic higher education.
  • Do your own Search: Using search engines like Google, Yahoo, Excite etc., try using combinations of search terms like these (be sure to use the quotation marks when entering the words in the search box): "college scholarships"

A Word of Caution

Don't be fooled by scholarship search services which claim that "millions of dollars in student aid go unclaimed every year". The large figures you may hear or read about usually represent an estimated national total of employee’s benefits or member benefits. Usually such benefits are available only to the employees and families of a specific company, or to the members of a specific union or other organization. Beware of any Scholarship search services that want to charge you for finding scholarship awards. Remember, free money shouldn't cost a thing! Scholarship search services do not provide you with awards directly. They provide you with a list of "sources" of financial assistance. You must apply separately to every scholarship for which you may be eligible. Most of the information they provide can be obtained free from other sources. For more information about scholarship scams, see: Scholarship Scam Warning

Federal Tax Information

Students should save their award notification for tax preparation. Grants and scholarships in excess of tuition, fees and books are taxable income. The IRS provides extensive information about tax benefits for education.

American Opportunity Credit

What is the American Opportunity Credit? The American Opportunity Tax Credit ( formerly the Hope Scholarship ) allows you to claim up to $1,800 against federal income taxes for the payment of qualified tuition and related expenses. Eligible students must be enrolled at least half-time (min. 6 credits) in a program leading to a recognized education credential (i.e., associate's degree, vocational-technical certificate, etc.). Available ONLY until the first 2 years of postsecondary education are completed per eligible student.

Read more about the American Opportunity Credit on our district web pages.

Typically the information is not available until the end of January for the previous tax year.

Education IRAs and Penalty-free Withdrawals from Regular IRAs

Taxpayers may withdraw funds from an IRA, without penalty, for their own higher education expenses or those of their spouse, child, or even grandchild. In addition, for each child under age 18, families may deposit $500 per year into an Education IRA in the child's name.