DREAM TEEN Magazine - - Front Page - By Lau­ren Cham­b­liss Her­nan­dez DREAM TEEN Magazine- July 2016

To­day, the aver­age stu­dent is grad­u­at­ing with more than $25,000 of col­lege tu­ition loans. There are no money trees, sav­ing ac­counts are low on funds, there is more month than money and the cost of a col­lege ed­u­ca­tion is higher than ever! So, what do you do to make col­lege more af­ford­able? Well the an­swer is sim­ple…ap­ply for col­lege schol­ar­ships! Un­like loans which need to be paid back, most schol­ar­ships amount to free money! Let us help you with our Schol­ar­ship Seek­ing Do’s and Don’ts List.

Start early! The early bird gets the worm! Start hunt­ing for schol­ar­ships be­fore your se­nior year. Schol­ar­ship awards are avail­able for all high school grade lev­els.

Re­search all an­gles! Avail­able schol­ar­ships vary from aca­demic ex­cel­lence, in­ter­ests, hob­bies, tal­ent, ath­leti­cism, geo­graphic lo­ca­tion and so much more. Find where your qual­i­fi­ca­tions will help win the schol­ar­ship.

Fill out the Free Ap­pli­ca­tion for Fed­eral Stu­dent Aid, or FAFSA, and then fo­cus on schol­ar­ships.

Check with com­mu­ni­ty­based, churches and civic or­ga­ni­za­tions for schol­ar­ships. Schol­ar­ship money may be in your own back yard! There are many lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions who of­fer schol­ar­ships. Find lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions/clubs and in­quire about schol­ar­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties. Lo­cal news­pa­pers, bul­letin boards, and lo­cal web­sites are also valu­able resources. Check with your par­ents; their em­ployer may award schol­ar­ships as well. Be smart, re­search and see what schol­ar­ships are there wait­ing for you!

Make an ap­point­ment with your high school guid­ance coun­selor. Their guid­ance is a great re­source. Your coun­selor will have a list of schol­ar­ships (both lo­cal and non-lo­cal) for which you may qual­ify.

Search far and wide! Go af­ter re­gional and na­tional schol­ar­ships. Each year many schol­ar­ship dol­lars are not awarded sim­ply be­cause no one ap­plies for them. You know bet­ter than that! Ap­ply for every op­por­tu­nity you can!

Go for it! The big­ger, the bet­ter! You’ll have the best odds of win­ning the smaller, lo­cal schol­ar­ships, but if you’re a good stu­dent with strong ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties, aim for the high-value schol­ar­ships.

Meet every dead­line! Late ap­pli­ca­tions are just that…late! If your ap­pli­ca­tion is late, you will never see the money!

Es­tab­lish one email ac­count de­voted to schol­ar­ship ap­pli­ca­tions! Set time aside three times a week to check your emails and ap­ply for schol­ar­ships.

• DON’T…

Be afraid to ask everyone you know if they are aware of schol­ar­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties.

As­sume only vale­dic­to­ri­ans re­ceive schol­ar­ships. There are many schol­ar­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties out there and qual­i­fi­ca­tions vary. Work on bring­ing up your GPA while you ap­ply for schol­ar­ships!

Pay money to in­ves­ti­gate or ap­ply for schol­ar­ships! Never pay a ser­vice to find schol­ar­ships. There are many scam artists who make a liv­ing out of go­ing af­ter stu­dents. They of­fer schol­ar­ships, have ap­pli­ca­tion fees, pro­cess­ing fees, dis­burse­ment fees and/or re­demp­tion fees. Any word cou­pled with “fees” is a warn­ing sign to stay away from what may be fraud and iden­tity theft.

Give up! There are thousands and thousands of schol­ar­ships avail­able. Take your time, do your re­search, keep your grades and writ­ing skills up, and be pa­tient. Each time you ap­ply for a schol­ar­ship learn some­thing from the ex­pe­ri­ence and use it for the bet­ter­ment of the next ap­pli­ca­tion you com­plete. The process may seem long, but when you are awarded a schol­ar­ship it will all be worth it!

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