College PREP $HOW THE MONEY
SHOW ME THE MONEY DO’S AND DON’TS OF FINDING COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS
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.
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!