2899_8607Picture this: school is approaching and you have a balance on your account, you do not have a roommate, and your schedule is about to be purged. This scenario would cause anyone to go insane; have no worries however. Something can be done, if you take the right steps.

Paying for college does not have to be difficult if you are prepared. Being proactive in obtaining funds can be as easy, breezy as a Cover Girl commercial.

Take into consideration these tips on getting through financial aid and getting school paid for.

Fully review your award letter

Is there anything missing that should be there? Scholarships, grants, loans, etc.? If so, contact the Financial Aid Department.

Contact Financial Aid

Financial aid customer service has a bad rep in the HBCU community but if you try hard enough (and have enough patience) you will eventually get through. You are one of thousands of students seeking assistance. Take matters in your own hands. Call in, put use to email and take advantage of walk in visits.

(Additional tip: do not argue with staff members. You will need them in the future. I promise.)

Apply! Apply! Apply!

Applying for scholarships is key. There truly is a lot of money in the world, and people are ready to give it to students like you. There are scholarships for virtually everything.

A few sites where you can apply for scholarships are UNCF,  Fast Web,  CappexThurgood Marshall College FundTom Joyner FoundationMy Education is my Hustle and H.O.P.E.

Don’t feel embarrassed

Ask local companies, churches, businesses and community leaders for a “love token” or donation. Plenty of people are willing to help you because they truly want to see you succeed. Write a letter describing who you are, what you want to be, and how they can help you out to get where you want to be through an education.

Keep Faith

If you want something in life, you have to Go For It! If it is money that you need, make it happen. Money should never be the excuse for you not attending college.

You can do it!

Nicole Tinson is a HBCU Buzz Staff Writter. Follow her on Twitter @Nikki_T

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Nicole Tinson is from Los Angeles, California and is a recent graduate Dillard University’s Class of 2014. Nicole earned her BA in Political Science, and is an incoming graduate student at Yale’s Divinity School. Nicole is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated as well as the NAACP. She currently serves as a White House Initiative on HBCUs All Star. Nicole has had the opportunity to intern with the Special Needs Network, a nonprofit dedicated to advocating for the rights for children with disabilities, as well as interning with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in their Emerging Leaders Program. She is an agent for social change and focuses on issues that include gun violence prevention, education, mass incarceration, women’s rights, civil rights, HBCU ‘”relevancy” and children’s rights. Nicole aspires to integrate faith and politics and intends to one day run for office and become the first Black Speaker of the House. She plans to leave the world better than when she found it. Nicole loves long walks on the beach, shopping, serving her community, tweeting and hanging out with Dennis and her friends.