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Grants and scholarships
Financial aid -- the traditional way of eliminating college costs -- is still available. To increase the odds of landing grants and scholarships, Doug Hewitt, co-author of "Free College Resource Book," advises students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and then focus on local prizes.
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"There are more scholarships you'll qualify for in your home state than nationally," says Hewitt. "Look at local organizations and talk to your high school (guidance) counselor."
Start early, too. While students usually don't start scholarship hunting until senior year, awards are available for all high school grade levels.