My daughter has successfully completed the college application process, and together we’ve completed the FAFSA. So what’s next? It’s time to apply for scholarships to help pay for college.
Scholarships are monetary awards that do not need to be paid back and are normally given by private organizations. They can be very helpful in contributing towards tuition, housing, books, and other college essentials. So it’s a great thing that there are so many of them out there.
Scholarships can even help your financial situation after you’ve graduated college by minimizing the amount of student loans that you owe. Also, the amounts of the scholarships range vastly and depending on the amount, the check will either be mailed to your house or directly to your college. Speak to your high school financial aid advisor to see how scholarships would benefit your particular situation, so you can start seeking that extra cash.
Where do I find these scholarships? There are lots of sites that will help you with this process but from personal experience, my daughter and I like FastWeb. This site gathers tons of scholarship opportunities for you in one place.
What do I need to do? Visit Fastweb.com and create a free account and profile. You should set aside at least an hour to go through the countless number of questions you will be asked. And no matter how odd the question might seem, answer it. You will also need to answer a few questions about your parents, like their interests and occupation. Then, based on your answers the site matches you with the scholarship opportunities that are the best fit for you.
Once FastWeb is done matching you with specific scholarships, you can then go through the list and read about each one and its requirements in detail and decide which scholarships you would like to apply to and which ones you choose to pass up. Keep in mind that the requirements for each scholarship are unique. Aside from filling out an application, a few examples would be to submit an essay, where topics can range widely, to submit one paragraph on why you think you should receive that particular scholarship, to submit a short video, or to even make a greeting card. So have fun choosing and submitting.
You can submit to some scholarships the same day, others will take a bit more of prep work before your final essay, video, or product is ready to submit which could take a week or more. But to help you stay on track, FastWeb will email you reminders of deadlines for those scholarships that you decided to apply to. The turn around time to hear back can be a few months, so be patient and keep applying.
My daughter is actively applying for scholarships and thus far has applied to 10. It’s a nice way for her and all teens to get involved and contribute towards their college fund, which in turn helps us as parents greatly. So encourage your teen to start looking for scholarship opportunities today, I hope this site makes this whole process easier for you.
Monica Luna Gonzalez
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