Sorry for the absence guys, been working on a new blogging setup and it’s taking a lot more work then anticipated. Hopefully it’ll be up and rolling by the middle of the week, along with the 10 step guide to college prep. But for now, here’s the latest round of questions.
How do I go about finding scholarships for my child?
First thing to do is go to FastWeb.com and create a profile. See what your student qualifies for. Do the same at ScholarshipExperts.com. These sites list outside scholarships given out by companies and organizations which don’t come from the individual colleges your son or daughter is applying to. It’s quite possible that your student will not meet the requirements for a good majority of these non-institutional scholarships. Even so, with the thousands that are available, he or she will most likely be in qualification for several. The requirements are all different. Some are academic based. Others are need based. Still others required you to be a female of french decent living in Oklahoma. These obscure ones can be hit or miss. It never hurts to apply for any of them, sometimes the committee who decides who to reward them to will choose someone who doesn’t meet all the requirements, but only if no one else does either.
Your local public library is another good resource. Most libraries have numerous books on scholarships.
Make sure to fill out the FAFSA form to see what federal and state aid you qualify for. Although not technically “scholarships,” there are many grants available that don’t need to be paid back. Usually these are based upon academic merit or need.
Lastly, check with each school your student is interested in applying to. They will usually have a scholarship list on their website or course catalog. Look into this and see what you qualify for. You never know, you just might get the whole thing paid for!
When should we start visiting colleges?
Although it’s never too early to begin visiting colleges, I probably wouldn’t start until at least freshman year of high school. Make a list, along with your student, of the potential schools interested in, and try to attend as many open houses or preview days as possible at these schools. If you’re going to be vacationing or traveling somewhere near one of your potential universities, stop by to check out the campus. Meet with the admissions office to take a tour. make a list of your likes and dislikes. By senior year, hopefully the list will be narrowed down enough to be able to make a good decision.