Paying For College



Grayson College provides mentors for students and families needing assistance with completing thier FAFSA and understanding finanical aid in general, NO MATTER WHERE YOU PLAN TO ATTEND.  Here is contact info and a link to schedule a meeting:


College Financial Aid – Ways to Pay!

NEW 15 minute video on the important basics on paying for college from your school counselor

I.   Government Funded Grants & Loans:    You must complete the FAFSA form available beginning in January of your senior year, online at  (800-433-3243).  The Federal and State Government AND Colleges disburse available funds based on these results.  Delaying could mean less money available for YOU!


Texas State Scholarships and Financial Aid:


Federal & State Financial aid comes in several forms:

  • Federal Pell Grant & State Supplemental Grants; Federal Work-Study; Federal Perkins and Stafford Loans; Federal Plus Loans for Parents


Once your FAFSA is on file at your college financial aid office they will evaluate it

and notify you about programs for which you qualify.


Texas Valedictorian Scholarship


Amount may vary and can include up to tuition exemption from a Texas public college or university for the first two semesters of college immediately following graduation.


Valedictorian is determined as the highest ranking student of each class at the conclusion of the 8th semester and will receive a certificate of verification to present to their college or university of choice.  Private institutions may also offer and honor the valedictorian award.


II.   College Specific Scholarships:    The majority of your scholarship money for college will come from the College you attend.  Colleges offer scholarship “packages” to students based on merit and/or need if you complete their scholarship application process and meet their “priority deadline”.  Most colleges require that you fill out the basic FASFA form in order to apply for any type scholarship regardless of whether or not you qualify for Federal Aid.


III.   Company Specific:  ASK your parents & grandparents employer!


IV.   Independent Scholarships: 

  • Collegeboard’s Scholarship Handbook, available in the TCS Library contains scholarships specific to groups relating to; ethnicity, interests, club/civic affiliation, career choice and much more.
  • Sign up with a scholarship search engine to access scholarships specific to your interests.  Such as,; &
  • Web resources:


V.   Local Independent Scholarships:   local community scholarship information is sent via email to seniors and listed on the TCS website in the spring  – check it regularly!


Scholarship Scams!


Beware of any scholarship search assistance that costs money and/or guarantee results.    Beware of! This is a site that will charge you to do what you can do for FREE at

For additional Scholarship Scam info go to:  The Federal Trade Commission


Scholarship TIPS


There are virtually millions of scholarship dollars out there, much of which goes unused.  This is due to the failure of students to take the time to search and apply.  Consider this; your time is money, the more time you take on this endeavor the more money you can potentially earn.  Utilize the scholarship search engines listed on pages 20 and 22 to make your search more efficient and get started early!  Do not wait until senior year, but if you do, it is not too late.  Below are some typical scholarship questions that you can prepare in advance to speed up the process.


Common Scholarship Application Questions


Describe in 200 words or less, how this scholarship will help you achieve your educational and occupational goals.


What is the most challenging obstacle you have faced and how did you overcome it?


Explain how specific community service activities you have been involved in have impacted your life.


What is unique about your financial need and how do you plan to contribute to your college expenses?


Helpful Financial Aid Websites


Federal Aid Application and Eligibility Information

  •      FREE Application for Federal Student financial aid


Calculate your need – Estimated Family Contribution (EFC):


College Money & College Planning Info


Scholarships (Students fill out a questionnaire to customize their search)


Special Scholarship Constituency Sites




Budgeting & Saving

  •  This fast and easy calculator shows you how much money you must contribute each month to an interest bearing bank account or investment fund in order to reach your savings goal.

Kathy Howard

TCS Guidance Counselor

(903) 893-7076 ext. 205

   fax (903) 891-8486

TCS School CEEB Code:  446-499