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Scholarship opportunities abound

For many as they reminisce on your first day as a freshman, it feels like high school just started. The reality is that time is speeding at you 100 mph when you wake up and realize it is time to apply for college.

The second thing that becomes apparent is that applications will flood your life while you apply for your desired college. For most the want of any type of financial aid is very much in demand.

Every year on campus the college counselor (currently vice principal Ginger Niemeyer) hosts a meeting that try’s to prepare you for applying to college and for scholarships.

” I consulted with Mrs. Niemeyer about where to go and who to talk to,” Christopher Dang, ’02, said. “Every year on campus there is a meeting that answers a lot of questions about scholarships. I applied for several scholarships and was awarded the Regent Scholarship (pays a honorary $3,787 for four years or if you exhibit financial need you can have a full ride to the school). Scholarships take a lot of time and effort but it is well worth it because it can save you a lot of money.”

While many college bound students apply for scholarships in various places more than 350,000 people are affected by scholarship scams each year according to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Not all of the scholarships and grants available to college bound students are trying to swindle you but precaution should be taken.

“If you see a statement that says your guaranteed or request you to send money it is not appropriate,” Bernard Ogden, Fresno Pacific University admissions directors, said. “Most will not charge you to process you application. It should be free to the student exercise extreme caution. The earlier you start the better off you will be in the financial world. Do not miss deadlines. Check with each school you are applying for and make sure you are on the same time frame.”

According to www.finaid.org, a good way to first spot a bad scholarship is if you have to pay money to get money it is most likely a scam. Genuine foundations will not charge you an application fee or say that they will do all the work for you including application, essay and recommendations you need to do submit that your self.

For some the stress and time that it takes to fill out forms and apply for scholarships is unwanted, the people who do not want to take this time can hire a service to find a scholarship for them.

“Because of my parents income I did not qualify for any of the scholarships I could find,” Kristin Rigby, ’02, said. ” Despite my hark work and decent grades all through out my high school career I still did not qualify for sufficient scholarships. I hired a service to find a scholarship for me. They ended up finding two that were good but did not apply to the colleges that I wanted to attend.”

If you receive a letter in the mail stating you have won a scholarship with out even applying for it its is most likely false.

“I got a letter in the mail a while ago saying that I won a scholarships,” Michelle Nachtigall, ’04, said. “I knew that it was a fake letter because I have not even started applying for scholarships yet and when I do starts applying it will not come that easily. It is kind of like the sweepstakes flyers everybody gets in the mail saying that you have won a million dollars.”

Yearly hundreds and thousands of scholarships are awarded students each year and unlike a loan do not have to be paid back.

“Scholarships are a really good thing especially in my family,” John Howard, ’03, said. “Because of my sister, brother and my age spread we will all be in college at the same time. Scholarships are a great thing that will help out my family so we all can go to college at the same time.”

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