resources that can make college more affordable
education

How to Make College More Affordable: 2 Experts Weigh in

You may not be focusing on the best schools when you begin your college search. It’s important to remember, however, that acceptance to your dream college is only one part. It is important to spend a lot of time researching how college will be paid for, including fees, tuition, books, and living costs. There are many resources that can make college more affordable, including scholarships, which are everyone’s favorite resource.

How soon should you apply for scholarships?

According to George Chidiac (Superintendent of Stafford Township), students should apply for scholarships between their senior and junior years. Although there are a few scholarships students can apply for earlier than others, most scholarships will not be available until the end of your senior year. However, it’s a good idea to start the application process early, such as in the summer. This will allow you to think about the people you’ll ask for letters. This gives you the time to write your scholarship essays. Chidiac states, “I try and reach out to high-school students and encourage them to start as soon as possible.” He adds that micro-scholarships are great for students who have good grades and participate in school and athletic activities. College test scores, college visits, and other forms of support like RaiseMe can motivate them to do the things they need to be eligible for more scholarships.

Jonas Tellis is the Chief Executive Officer of Tellis Educational Services. He says, “It is almost never too late to start the process of looking for scholarships.” According to Dr. Tellis, searching for scholarships and researching colleges can both be done simultaneously and should begin early in high school. This means that you should start your freshman year if you are still an underclassman. 

Dr. Tellis says that you will gain some comfort and confidence in your first year of high school by researching and learning more about what scholarship providers look for in a successful candidate. You can use your junior, sophomore, or senior years of high school to research to prepare for your senior year.

You are wrong to think that the scholarship process ends with high school graduation. Chidiac emphasizes that students should apply for scholarships all through college. He says that students should begin to identify scholarships at their university when they enter and be aware of the GPA requirements as well as the number of credits required before they can apply. 

Students can and should create a portfolio of scholarship opportunities starting in ninth grade. Make sure to include all information. It is important to start looking early in order to know the requirements for each scholarship, including what activities, grades, and test scores are required.

How to search for scholarships

You’re not the only one who is worried about scholarship applications. Millions of students miss out every year on scholarship opportunities because they don’t know where or how to search for them. The experts we spoke to have years of experience in helping students navigate this process. According to Chidiac, there are three places you can look for scholarships. Your community is the best place to begin. Ask your guidance counselor, parents and employers, and local businesses. Many local scholarships are available. These awards are more likely to be awarded because of the smaller applicant pool. 

Next, you should consider the admissions office or finical aid of the university that you are interested in. These foundations will offer endowed scholarships as well as institutional merit scholarships. Other foundations or corporations may also offer scholarships. This might require more detailed research.

Jonas Tellis suggests that the best way to find scholarships is online. When creating these profiles, take your time. Dr. Tellis states that the more detailed and accurate your profile is, the better the search results will be. Chidiac suggests that you fill out profiles for at least three to four search engines, as not all search engines have scholarship information.

Here are some tips to help you navigate the scholarship process:

Senior year can be hectic, let’s face the facts. You’re trying to meet college application deadlines. But you also have to manage a full course load, extracurricular activities, and part-time work. You feel so busy that you don’t have the time to do anything else. It’s a mistake to make the search for scholarships one of your top priorities. Chidiac states that he asks students one question: “How long would you take to make $500 in your part-time job?” In most cases, the answer is several months. If you submit 10 applications in a matter of 10 hours, and you win one $500 scholarship for your work, that’s $50 an hour. These are some tips that will help you navigate the scholarship application process and hopefully make it more simple.

Create a scholarship spreadsheet

Before you start your scholarship search, create a spreadsheet. This way, you can easily add the scholarship information to your spreadsheet when you find it. Jonas Tellis suggests that you include the name and web address of the scholarship as well as any contact information. Jonas Tellis also suggests that you include a space to indicate whether you are interested in applying for the scholarship, are currently applying, or have already applied. Chidiac also recommends including fields for minimum GPA, test scores, transcript requirements, and letters of recommendation.

Create a resume of activities

This document contains all of your awards, activities, and work experience. You can use the information in your activities resume to fill out the scholarship application. You may be able to attach it as an attachment to some scholarships. This is a great tool for college applications.

Please read all directions and eligibility requirements.

Make sure that you have read and understood all requirements before you submit a scholarship application. You should also take the time to carefully read through the instructions at least two times. Do not send more than two letters of recommendation if they ask. You won’t be a better candidate if you submit additional materials. Follow the instructions.

Answer the essay question

Sometimes, a scholarship application requires an essay. Chidiac says that the biggest flaw in the application is the failure to answer the scholarship committee’s question. He explains that the scholarship committee doesn’t require you to spend time describing four traits. They only need you to tell them a short story about what you have done to show them you are able to embody them. The committee has the responsibility of finding the person most similar to the donor’s criteria. They can only see your true potential through vivid essays.

You’ll be more successful if you invest more time and effort into your scholarship search. You don’t have to devote all of your time and effort to the scholarship search. If you are determined to succeed, you will be able to expedite your scholarship applications with ease and make a lot of money to pay for college.

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