Tagged: college scholarships

Where to Find Money For College

Recently, we covered general information about scholarships.  Now we’ll talk about where to look for them.

Never pay  an agency to search for scholarships for you!  Your own diligence will reward you with more than enough material that won’t cut into your profits.

FIRST source of scholarships is the colleges you’re going to apply to.  When you make your due-diligence visit, go to the Financial Aid Office.  Make an appointment, if you can, so that you will meet with a professional rather than the work-study student manning the counter.

  • Ask if  this college has a policy of meeting full need without loans.  That will open a discussion of their aid package and merit aid options.
  • Next, ask about specific scholarships that you might fit.  Many families leave money to a college for an incoming student that is similar to a family member who attended.  Are you a left handed violinist?  Micro-economics major from Scranton?  Have grandparents from Lithuania?  These scholarships go begging because the FA office doesn’t have the resources to comb through the admitted students to find a match.
  • Many colleges have discounts for the children of educators or veterans or police officers; its good for you if your parent is one of these!

Second Review all the employers your parents and grandparents have worked for; make a list of organizations members of your family belong to; add any that you or they could join that offer scholarships to members.  Look for civil, social and professional group memberships.

Third  Look at companies with whom you do business.  Many corporations mention  scholarships in their advertising, in on-line profiles or on their websites.  Check brands you use or are familiar with. You’ll be amazed! You don’t need to be an athlete  to be eligible for a local team’s scholarships.

Fourth Use apps and online resources.  You might want to create a dedicated email address to use when signing up  online.  You can use this address for joining college blogs or reaching out to admissions offices.  Keep the address professional.

  • scholly app for android and iphone for $.99
  • scholarshipadvisor app ( from Washington Post)
  • scholarpro.com
  • tuitionrewards.com (Sage Scholars)
  • tuitionsfundingsources.com
  • moolahspot.com
  • finaid.org or fastweb.org (Marc Kantrowitz)
  • Scholarship Owl,
  • Scholarships 360,
  • Scholarship Points.
  • quatromoney.com/scholarship
  • Big Future/College Board

You will find that most scholarships are good for 4 years so long as you remain in school with a minimum GPA. However, some are for one year require you to go through the application process from the beginning for each additional year.

Good luck with your search! $$

Intro to Finding Scholarships

Lets face it, by the time senior year rolls around you’re too busy starting the transition to college, writing essays and attending Home Coming to spend much time looking for scholarships.

Once you turn 13 you can earn scholarships that will be held until you need them. By that standard, if you’re 15 you’ve lost 2 years in the free money hunt. No time like the present to get started.

The first thing on your agenda is to have a serious and frank discussion with your parents about what they can afford to pay for you to attend college. Remember that over the 4-6 years that you will be a student the costs will only go up, at least slightly. Keep in mind that your siblings will need college money, too. The conversation may be uncomfortable but it is a necessary step.

The very worst thing you can do is “just get in and we’ll figure it out”. That is completely backwards. Here are a few facts about college costs.

1. When a college lists average student debt on their website they refer to loans in the student’s name without including debt in a parent’s name.  The number is almost always just above $30,000.

2. Most Loans your parents take to finance your education must be paid beginning immediately and be paid every month like a mortgage or car loan.

3. Your financial aid package will have loans built into it that don’t cover the Expected Family Contribution for which many families must also borrow.

Now that I’ve convinced you to be serious about what you can afford, here’s a story about one student who made earning scholarships a priority and a job. The story comes from Susan Smith in the Philadelphia Inquirer on 6/15/13.

Christopher Gray of Birmingham Alabama, wanted to attend a college in the Northeast. To finance his education he spent 3 months in the library researching scholarships. Ultimately, he applied for more than 70 scholarships, of which he received 34, for a total of $1.3million, enough to pay for his Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D, living expenses and some to invest.

$1.3 million, yes your read that correctly. He is not the only student who has scored big by investing time and effort in searching for financial resources.

How to start your own search. Step One : Get Organized

You will need a filing system. Put it on your computer and consider a box you where you can put material mailed to you by colleges. You will need tabs for:

1. your resume, transcripts, test scores, and other official documents; tax records

2. informal records that you keep of community service, honors/awards, employment hours and responsibilities, leadership accomplishments.

3. scholarship information and a separate page or file for those applied for

4. articles you want to keep and leads

5. correspondence related to scholarships including from your school

6. college marketing material

The files can be used jointly by parents and students.

Christopher Gray created an app for android and iphones called scholly that sells for $.99. When you’ve set up your organization tools and downloaded the app, read the next post to see where to begin looking for free college money.

Read the next post for what to do next.

Raise.me Financial Incentives For Good Scholarship

Dear Students and Parents,

grade-156087_640I know that many of you have concerns about how to make a college education more affordable.
Through a new program called Raise.me, students can guarantee scholarships from 200+ colleges as early as 9th grade, making it easier to plan financially for school. Raise.me has proven to be a great tool to motivate students in high schools throughout the U.S., as the site immediately rewards students with scholarships for their hard work in and outside of high school. As an example:

Get an A in a course ($100 – $1,000)
Get a B in a course ($50 – $600)
Participate in a school club or sport ($25 – $250)
And much more!

Many colleges are  among the first in the country to take advantage of this opportunity, which was launched with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and U.S. colleges. Here are a couple of easy ways to support your students in using this unique tool:

1) Ensure that your student creates an account at www.raise.me.
2) Encourage your student to regularly add good grades, community service, extracurricular activities, and other achievements to his or her raise.me “Portfolio” to earn “Micro-Scholarships” from colleges.
3) Visit www.raise.me/parents for more information.

We hope using Raise.me will make your student’s path to college both more fun and affordable.
If you have questions,  contact me at stephanie@accessguidance.com, 610-212-6679, or send an email to support@raise.me.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Welder

Access College and Career Consultants, LLC

Scholarship Search Primer

Three sources of college funding are

  1. Merit Aid, based on grades, scores and achievements.
  2. Need Based Aid which is primarily loans
  3. Third Party funding of scholarships and grants

By far the largest amount of money is found in third party funding, as much as $14 billion.  There are niche scholarships for specific interests, for men or women, religion or ethnicity, college major, and many more categories of students.

Listen for information on scholarship search and applications.

Start early to give yourself more opportunities; be persistent especially when you aren’t fin aid applicationsgiven the award; apply for small and large scholarships and watch the dollars add up.

I have lists of scholarships and contests to start you on your way.  There is money for everyone and much of it isn’t awarded because no one applies.  Scholarships and grants are an ounce of prevention that pays out a pound of cure for college debt.

For scholarship help, text or call 610-212-6679; stephanie@accessguidnace.com.