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Scholarships are Your Friend

Aug 17, 2007
There is nothing like getting scholarship information directly from someone who has already had the experience. Here are a few tips that one parent shared about getting scholarship money for college. Her son went to a private college for four years on a full scholarship and her daughter earned a scholarship at a state school. Below are some brief thoughts to consider when looking for your scholarship.

Her words of wisdom, for getting the scholarship that you want, were to start early, start early, start early! There are two important scholarship dates to make sure that you stay ahead of the deadlines. One of the most important things to start doing early, is to study and sit for the ACT or FAT. Many students start in the seventh or eighth grade start studying for and taking the test. She says that it does not matter how many times you take the test so many people take the test several times. The most important thing in qualifying for a scholarship is your final test score.

It would be good to check to see what test is required in your state for scholarships. Because of making a 32 on the ACT, her son won the governors scholar award and received scholarship money from the state program called the academic challenge. Watching for test deadlines is very important because they missed one test that could have given them more scholarship money.

The second important date is the deadline set for applying to be eligible for the various scholarships. You will start testing at least in the eighth grade and it does not hurt to start learning what scholarships are available by the time you reach the tenth grade. For sure by the eleventh grade, you need to know the scholarship rules that you are interested in pursuing because the deadlines for applying for many scholarships can be nine months before the fall that you would enter college.

Another start early point for scholarship success is when applying for a scholarship, you would treat it like you would preparation for a good resume. You need to put as many scholarship enhancing details as you can about how involved you are in the community, how you are serving at the home for senior citizen, you volunteer at the hospital, you are a life guard at the pool in the summer, you have a part time job at the mall or anything that enhances your chances of being selected for the scholarship. A good idea is to document anything to use when applying for your scholarship that shows you are an asset to your family, your church, your school and your community.

Here is a Good Way to Start Your Scholarship Success!

Now you have one eye on the test dates and test scores and the other eye on the scholarships that you want and the scholarship application deadlines. Then you want to contact the college that you wish to attend to see what their scholarship requirements are. The college should be very helpful and interested in your success not only in applying for your scholarship but in your success throughout your college experience. They will be able to tell you what scholarships you will qualify to receive and the tests and test scores that will be required for that scholarship.

A good way to get a general idea and overview of what scholarships could be available is by searching the internet. This a great place to start to get a broad base scholarship information. The college that you are interested in attending should have scholarship information online and your state department of higher education should be a very good scholarship source online. You can do scholarship searches for free on some websites and get a feeling of what is available and what additional questions that you should ask about any scholarship. There are some sites where you have to pay for scholarship searches and there are government supported counseling services along with paid seminars that would give you more scholarship information.

When you are selecting a scholarship, be aware to consider the source of the scholarship funds and the organization that is behind the scholarship. The Federal Trade Commission warns students and parents to always be aware. If the scholarship sounds too good to be true, then you need to be careful. Below is one of their announcements.

Scholarships guaranteed or your money back! Beware of scholarship "guarantees." Before you pay for a search service, get the refund policy in writing. Call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP to learn how to avoid scholarship scams.

Once you get a scholarship, the money should go directly to the school and they will take care of the details on your behalf. Something to be aware of after you get into school is the requirements to keep your scholarship. Once you get your scholarship, you do not want to loose it by not keeping your grade point to the required level or missing one of the other scholarship rules.

Here is one last point. Treat it like a business. Be serious. Be diligent. Treat your scholarship search like you are getting paid to do it. Actually, you are getting paid.
About the Author
Dewitt Shotts is President and Founder of Marketing Solutions, Inc. Marketing Solutions serves the proprietary school industry as a full service company including television production, media buying, direct mail and internet lead generation. http://www.collegecareersource.com/
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