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College Corner: Tips on scoring cash for college

CollegeCorner1
[/media-credit] With college tuition rates at an all time high, students and their parents are stuck contemplating how they can possibly afford to pay for college.
College Corner is a column about all things college, covering everything from college preparation to tips on application. A new column will be posted on the first or second Wednesday of the month.

Applications submitted…check. Now begins the waiting period for the monumental letter to arrive. In the meantime there are plenty of things students can do aside from twiddling their thumbs.

With college tuition rates at an all time high, students and their parents are stuck contemplating how they can possibly afford to pay for college. A study published by Collegeboard.com (2007) found that that from 1997-98 to 2007-08 tuition rose 54 percent for public four-year institutions, 17 percent for public two-year institutions, and 33 percent for private four-year institutions.

With rates like these, more and more families are searching for financial assistance to help pay for college. Although loans are a helpful and a necessity for some, free money that does not need to be repaid is undoubtedly the best option. Most students do not feel they have the time to dedicate to finding scholarships.

The number of scholarships available is intimidating and the search can be a daunting task. But as the saying goes, you never know what you are missing until you try. I have heard countless stories of students applying to as many scholarships as they qualify for and they end up receiving thousands of dollars towards college.

The key to the scholarship search is to use your time and resources intelligently. Choose scholarships that you feel you have the best chance of being awarded. Thousands of students apply to the big name scholarships and your chance of getting these is much less likely than the less common ones.

A great option is to search for local scholarships in your area. A local scholarship is probably your best chance for getting a scholarship. There are special scholarships just for locals, meaning it will be less competitive, as there are usually less applicants. A great place to start would be your local bank, grocery store, church or club.

Another excellent place to look for scholarships is at the colleges you apply to. Most colleges offer their own scholarships to students, these are usually based on merit and some are specific to a field of study. It is important to call the financial aid office at the college to inquire about the scholarships available.

It is a good idea to get a head start on this since financial aid may be a determining factor in the college decision-making process. Also, families do not find out if they will receive federal financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) for several months from now.

There are numerous online scholarship search engines to help students identify scholarships that are right for them. Here are a few resources that are free of charge. Students should never have to pay for a scholarship, if they are asked to it may be a scam.

College Scholarship Resources
Fastweb
College Board
Scholarships.com
Zinch

Good luck as you begin the college scholarship search. Remember, the money is out there you just have to look for it.

For the last month’s College Corner, read the Nov. 13, article, College Corner: Common college application mistakes.

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  • J

    Johnathon BrushwoodNov 6, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Today was an amazing chapel. It was awsome being able to go in there and be able to sing and praise the Lord as a whole school. No where else in Clovis could you do that as a school.

    Reply
  • J

    Jenna OrcuttNov 6, 2012 at 12:08 am

    It is amazing to have the opportunity to worship with our peers! There are really no words to describe it! love you all junior class 🙂

    Reply