Local scholarships offer financial assistance

This time of the year can be the most sneakily stressful time for seniors. While most have applied to college and been accepted, this is when financial aid offer letters begin to arrive. The reality is that 69 percent of college goers will take out student loans, a heavy financial burden that will be something they carry for most of their lives. 

But all is not lost. Most colleges offer specific merit based scholarships, but those do not cover everything. Here are some helpful places to locate scholarships and how to find ones that have a higher chance of actually delivering. 

  1. The first place to look is locally. Many seniors make the mistake of applying for big national scholarships with pricey dollar signs. While they do offer a lot of money, the chances of getting them are slim to none. The best place to start is through the CFHS counseling website, where they list local scholarships that cater to specific majors and areas. 
  2. After exhausting all local scholarship options, look into statewide or regional scholarships. Some will even offer scholarships based on gender, life experience, race or the college of choice. A great place to look for these is at a scholarship search engine, like College Board or Broke Scholar. 
  3. One careful thing to avoid during the scholarship process: don’t waste time applying for scholarships that offer big money for subscribing. Most of the time these scholarships have tens of thousands of applicants with only one recipient, using scholarships as a way to lure unsuspecting students into flooding their inbox with ad offers. Another big red flag: don’t apply to any scholarship that requires payment. No scholarship should have an application fee, and if it does, it’s a scam. 
  4. The last big tip is this: apply, apply, apply. Scholarships are essentially free money, and every senior should take full advantage of these resources. Many scholarships end up unused, and that money that could be used to help students goes to waste. Don’t be afraid to apply to every scholarship available, and make sure to stay organized. An easy way to do this is to make a Google Spreadsheet with application deadlines and requirements to keep things in track.

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