COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
MAKING COLLEGE AFFORDABLE
In today’s economy scholarship opportunities take on an added importance. As more families struggle to make ends meet the idea of an added expense like paying for college is causing widespread concern.
A recent study revealed that making college affordable tops the list of concerns for American families. How does one make college affordable? The obvious answer is to look at available scholarship opportunities.
There are over 2.7 million scholarship and grant opportunities worth well over nineteen billion. How do you access all that money?
To take full advantage of scholarship opportunities you need to start the process early. Most experts believe if you aren’t doing internet research and sending out letters by your sophomore year you are putting yourself at a decided disadvantage in the scholarship game.
And it is a game. How can you best be prepared to win the game and cash in on some of the many scholarship opportunities?
Be prepared. Start your due diligence your sophomore year. Create a notebook of potential scholarship opportunities.
By your junior year you should have a good idea about what you will apply for. Your junior year is also when you will need to take the PSAT. Many scholarship programs will reject your application if you have not taken the PSAT. By the same token, a good score may give you the upper hand in competing for these scholarship opportunities.
Your parents can contribute to the process in a variety of ways as well. One key will be for them to get their financial house in order. The more they understand about how their income and assets will play a part in your ability to tap into scholarship opportunities, the better your chance will be.
Student loans can be a good secondary option if you don’t get all the scholarship money you need to pay for college. For many, though, this has become cost prohibitive as these loans can become a financial burden for decades after graduation. Even President Barack Obama has complained about how burdensome and restrictive his college student loans became. So cross this threshold if you must and only when absolutely necessary.
There are other ways, of course, to ensure your success in chasing scholarship opportunities. How about getting out of the classroom and pursuing some extracurricular activities? Some schools actually prefer an above average student with a wealth of extracurriculars to a straight-A student who studies 24/7. Extracurriculars show that you are well-rounded and will be an asset to campus life and the college community as a whole.