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Scholarships for College

Updated on March 7, 2013

Scholarships for College

A very important part of the college financial aid planning process is searching for scholarships. It is imperative that you apply for financial aid through colleges by completing the FAFSA so that colleges can review you for available need-based federal financial aid sources, including grants, work programs, and loans. In addition, many colleges and universities may have their own institutional scholarship (need-based and merit) programs available. For consideration of institutional scholarship programs, you may be required to complete a CSS Profile Form and/or an institutional financial aid form. However, in addition to turning to colleges and universities for assistance, one should be proactive and search for scholarships outside of what the college(s) have to offer. This article is devoted to discussing the scholarship search process and sharing tips with you as to where to start the process and important things to consider. Please "like" us on this lens if any of this information is helpful. Best of luck in your college planning process! Read on for great scholarship search tips!

Scholarship Search Ideas
Scholarship Search Ideas

Scholarship Search

Scholarships are Available from a Number of Sources

Look beyond what colleges and universities may have available in terms of available scholarships. You can take a proactive approach in trying to obtain scholarship monies which is definitely worth putting some time into. Welcome to the world of outside scholarships.

Beyond what colleges have to offer, there are a variety of different sources of scholarship and grant monies available to families ~ these sources of scholarships are closer to you than you think! Below is a summary of possible scholarship providers that you can pursue in your search for college financing:

Community Organizations: Many community organizations, clubs, and groups provide scholarships to college bound students. Check with any community organizations that you are involved with and inquire as to available programs. Examples of community organizations include your local rotary club, better business bureau, elks club (or similar type of membership organizations), or other community clubs and organizations.

Local Scholarships: Your guidance counselor will have information and applications available for local scholarships that may be available to graduating seniors. A high school guidance department office will have information and applications available to students during the school year, so it is very important that students visit their guidance office to peruse the scholarship opportunities that are managed at the high school level. The student should make a point of listening to the guidance department announcements and stopping by their office to look at the available scholarship resources. Not all scholarships can be applied for directly, but many can and must be in order to be considered so this is a MUST DO activity for the high school senior and NOW is the time to visit the guidance office and inquire.

Religious Affiliations: If you have a particular religious affiliation, you may want to inquire if there are scholarships available, for example from a specific church, temple, etc, that you have a connection with.

Employers: Many employers, especially those with a large number of employees, offer scholarship programs for dependent children of employees. It is important to contact your Human Resource Department and inquire whether they have scholarship programs and what the respective deadlines are to apply.

Scholarship Search: The last avenue that I will mention is a scholarship search through a reputable database. Before I tell you where to turn for this, I want to mention that you should NOT pay any company to do a scholarship search for you as searches are available for free. There are SCAMS out there that will charge families to conduct a scholarship search and don't give you any information that you can't get yourself for FREE. PLEASE be wary of scams and do not pay a company (or individual) to do a search for you.

Free scholarship databases are available and give the student an opportunity to create a profile, share demographic information specific to them and then are provided with a list of possible available scholarship opportunities. Students can then decide which opportunities to pursue and will need to complete a separate application for each opportunity. YES! It is a time consuming process, however, one that should not be overlooked. At minimum, check out the databases and get a sense of the different options available - then you can decide whether you want to apply for them or not.

Check out the links below which will give you a good place to start and visit our blog often for additional financial aid tips!.

Best of luck in your scholarship search!

Financial Aid Sense: A Practical Guide ~ Making Sense of Financial Aid and College Financing
Financial Aid Sense: A Practical Guide ~ Making Sense of Financial Aid and College Financing

Don't Miss Out on Financial Aid Opportunities!

Financial Aid Sense: A Practical Guide ~ Making Sense of Financial Aid and College Financing

Planning for college is a very exciting time. Senior year of high school cruises by, quickly culminating in the high school graduation and a student's chance to embark on new beginnings-in many cases, the opportunity to attend college. The college admission process is typically at the forefront of people's minds as they think ahead to college; however, of equal importance is the financing aspect of a college education. This should be done with as much thought and planning as the admission process. In fact, a family must begin thinking about the financing aspects of college early on … long before the college acceptance letters are received.

What you can afford as a family and how you will finance a college education is an important factor to consider when finalizing college plans. Paying for college is a team effort-family members will need to open the lines of communication and join forces during the entire process. It can be tough to talk about family finances; however, they are necessary conversations to have, as ultimately finances can have a bearing on college attendance. Education is certainly an important investment, however, the financing decisions that you make today will impact your future, thus it is vital that you are informed about the many college financing options available, as well as about the financial aid process as a whole.

Financial Aid $ense will guide you through the process and give you valuable information along the way! There is a whole chapter devoted to the scholarship search process as well as related templates for tracking scholarship applications and the renewal process.

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