Career Cost 

5 Tips to Save, Learn, Succeed

  1. Scholarship Search Checklist

Filing the FAFSA isn’t the only step you should take to explore financial aid. By filing the FAFSA, you may automatically qualify for some scholarships, but there are other opportunities as well.

A reliable online resource is, which includes college and graduate school scholarship opportunities, as well as special scholarships for veterans, bilingual students, single parents, and more.

Other tips:

  • Investigate community resources such as civic groups, community foundations and faith-based organizations.
  • Ask for help. Talk to everyone you meet about your search for scholarships. Friends, relatives, teachers and counselors may know of more scholarship sources.
  • Read the fine print. Make sure you meet the criteria of the scholarship. Follow all directions carefully and complete the application on time. If letters of recommendation are required, provide a minimum of at least two or three weeks for your employer or teacher to write a letter.
  • Before you hit “submit,” check your application carefully. Ask a trusted person to proofread it as well.


  1. Get Real

In Indiana, which occupations match your hoped-for salary? How much could you earn in your ideal profession?

Find the answer to these questions and more on IN Reality at

The online tool was created by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and the Indiana Business Research Center at the IU Kelley School of Business.


  1. Need a High School Diploma?

If you haven’t earned a high school diploma, don’t despair. The Excel Center, with locations throughout the state, offers the opportunity to both earn a Core 40 diploma and begin your post-secondary education—all at no cost.

Free child care and life coaching are also included in the Excel Center program, founded by Goodwill Industries.

The Excel Center has five locations in Indianapolis, as well as sites in Anderson, Clarksville, Kokomo, Lafayette, Noblesville, Richmond and Shelbyville.

The Center’s success rate is impressive. Sixty-four percent of its students didn’t have jobs when they enrolled; 80 percent who graduated went on to college or found employment.

For more information, visit


  1. Manage Your Money Better

Need help discovering where your money goes, and how to create a spending and saving plan? Check out Purdue University Extension’s free online course, “Where Does Your Money Go?”

The four-lesson course is designed to be completed over a four-week period. To take the course, visit


  1. Save for School

A CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan account is a great way to save for college.

Why? A 529 plan offers tax-deferred growth and federal tax-free qualified withdrawals. Indiana residents earn a special tax credit.

Even a small amount saved each week or month and deposited in the plan can make a big difference. Use it to help pay tuition or textbooks, or to assist in funding another family member’s college education. Learn more at

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