Cost is one of the biggest reasons that high school students decide to not apply to college, however, after eight years helping students get into college, I can confidently say that you can, indeed, afford it! There are many sources of financial aid—money that organizations and the government lend or give to students to help pay for higher education—including grants, loans, work study, and scholarships that one can take advantage of. Let’s explore the broad spectrum of scholarship resources: There are scholarships for all kinds of students – they may be granted to members of certain ethnic, regional, age, gender, or religious groups, or awarded based on interest in a certain subject, volunteer work, athletic performance or academic aptitude. Because there are so many scholarships out there, your search will probably be the most daunting part of actually securing scholarships. It’s helpful to start your search on a scholarship-specific search engine, as using a mainstream search engine, like Google, may result in too many (several million) results. Some top scholarship search engines are CollegeBoard.com, fastweb.com, CollegeNET.com, scholarships.com, and ScholarshipMonkey.com. CollegeBoard only lists scholarships from reputable and established organizations. CollegeNET.com offers peer-voted scholarships that are not based on traditional factors like GPA or income, as well as their regular search engine. Fastweb updates their database daily, and so contains the most up-to-date scholarships! Explore these different sites to determine which yields the best results for you personally.
Millions of students rely on these scholarship search engines each year, so be sure to also supplement your search with more personally-tailored resources. Familiarize yourself with the websites for your target colleges to find school-specific scholarships and fellowships. In addition, prospective post-graduation employers that interest you may also offer scholarships, and many organizations offer scholarships to children of employees, so keep this in mind. Talk to your high school guidance counselor to also receive scholarship information that may be more aligned to your community. When you’ve identified scholarships to apply to, there are several factors to keep in mind: start looking for scholarships early and continue searching for them even after you’re enrolled in college (you can apply for them in college as well). Take the time to familiarize yourself with each organization that is awarding the scholarships that you are applying to so that your application essays are personally tailored to each. Remember, there is a scholarship for everything, so never assume you cannot afford school!
Veritas Prep is an elite test preparation company specializing in SAT and ACT prep, as well as college admissions consulting. At Veritas Prep, we offer an extensive array of in-person, live online, self-study, and private tutoring options for students from instructors who have all scored in the top 1% of test takers. For over a decade, we have worked with students helping them to excel on standardized exams, allowing them greater opportunities to be accepted into their top-tier dream schools, pursue higher education opportunities, and expand their academic knowledge.