At this point in the semester, high school seniors have their eyes on the prize– Graduation. The college application process is over, and most students have committed to a school. Now, they’re trying to relax until graduation (and before they embark on their college journeys).
There’s one problem, though: College applications may be finished, but scholarship applications are not. In fact, many local scholarships continue through May and even throughout the summer months. Therefore, it’s not time to relax quite yet.
With college costs on the rise, it’s best to search early and often for scholarships because the competition can be stiff. Most parents don’t realize that students can begin applying to some scholarships in their freshman year of high school. If they begin the process early, and start racking up scholarships, that can take a lot of financial pressure off of senior year. Many students, though, find the scholarship search confusing and overwhelming, and they end up just doing the bare minimum of filling out FAFSA and submitting scholarship applications at the colleges to which they’ve applied. They aren’t utilizing all the resources out there, and trust me, there are a lot of opportunities if you’re willing to search.
Landmark 12 Consulting can take the guess work, and the grunt work, out of the search. We offer service packages that include assistance with scholarships. We’ll locate the ones you’re eligible for, help you with the applications, alert you to deadlines, and edit your essays.
But, as a college consultant, I want to make sure all students, not just my clients, get assistance, so I’ve come up with some tips for where to begin the scholarship search:
1) High Schools. Students should check with their guidance counselors to see if their schools offer any scholarships.
2) Online resources. Websites such as FastWeb.com, Finaid.org and CollegeBoard.com can be very helpful. When searching, it’s important to remember that what makes you unique may be what scores you a scholarship. Look for ones that are geared toward your academic or athletic achievements.
3) Community organizations. Students should check with any organizations they’re associated with because many offer scholarships. These scholarships tend to be small, which is why a lot of students decide not to apply (making it a little less competitive for those who do). However, smaller scholarships will quickly add up.
4) Religious organizations. A lot of religious organizations offer some form of assistance, and they’re a good potential source of college funding.
5) College majors. When looking for scholarships at individual colleges, students who know what they want to major in should check for scholarships in that particular field of study. Because many incoming freshmen are undecided, this type of scholarship tends to be less competitive.
6) Work. Parents, ask your employer if they offer scholarships for children of employees.
Need more advice? Landmark 12 is just a phone call away. Students have invested so much time and energy into the college application process, and we don’t want to see them cheat themselves out of tuition assistance by not investing that same time and energy into the scholarship application process. We’re here to help on this last leg of the college planning journey.