Financial Aid Options


Our new college counselor Mr. John Boshoven is working to help students navigate their post-secondary plans. Credit: Anisha Ramachandra


There are many ways to pay for college and save money. John Boshoven, Skyline’s college counselor, reviews some ways families can best prepare themselves to pay for their students’ education. 

The number one tip to saving money for college is to start early. There are many different types of savings plans parents can start to use including automatic tax deduction plans, 529 Michigan plan, plans provided through the IRA and TSA (Tax Sheltered Annuity). 

Many families may not be able to save early as the cost of living is high and there are other expenses to pay. There are still many ways to find money to pay for college such as government funding, college-specific scholarships, and external scholarships. 

There are three main ways to get money for college:

#1 Fill Out the Federal Government’s Information Forms

The government requires students who seek out financial aid to fill out the FAFSA also known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form allows families to see their expected family contribution (EFC), which means how much money they have to pay for college. The lower the EFC, the more money the government is willing to pay. 

Official Link for FAFSA application:

#2 If Required:  Fill out the CSS Profile

In addition to the FAFSA, some colleges require students to fill out the College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS Profile) to see what scholarships students are eligible for. These forms calculate a formula based on the parents and students income.  

Official Link for CSS Profile:  

#3 Apply for College Specific Scholarships

There are many college specific scholarships that students can either automatically qualify for or have to apply for. There are renewable and non-renewable scholarships that students can use to pay for college tuition. The best way to find out what scholarships are available is to contact the school’s financial aid office. 

#4 Apply for External Scholarships 

There are many external scholarships that students can apply for. Some of the scholarships are more competitive than others. Some scholarships are need-based which means they will look at your FAFSA profile to determine your eligibility for the scholarship. Other scholarships are merit-based which means anyone is eligible as long as they meet certain academic standards. National scholarships tend to be more competitive as many students may apply for them, but local scholarships are also an option to receive money for college. Some national scholarships students can apply for include the Gates Foundation Scholarship, Coca-Cola Scholarship, Toyota Motor North America Scholarships, and the Citi Bank Scholarship.

National Scholarships: 

Gates Foundation:



Citi Bank: 

Local Scholarships: 

Ann Arbor Community Foundation: 

Ann Arbor Public Schools:

Ann Arbor Rotary Club: