6 Tips To Help Your Child Find Scholarships

Paying for your child’s education has become a daunting task. Securing scholarships to assist you with lowering the overall cost of college can be the only viable option for a student to attend college. Your student though will find that the hunt for scholarships require time and effort that he or she does not have with their school load.  You as the parent will therefore have to take the active role in helping your child secure these scholarships. You may feel ill-equipped and overwhelmed with trying to hunt down scholarships.  Therefore, here are five success tips to help you find Scholarships.

Organization and being pro-active is the key to success. 

Like most things in life being organized and getting started early will give you a competitive edge. You should start doing the research into scholarships when your student is in their Junior year.   This gives your student the ability to meet the scholarship’s requirements and ability to bolster his or her credentials to be a competitive candidate.

Research multiple sites or resources to successfully find scholarship information

Each year, it is estimated that there is $46 billion in grants and scholarship money is awarded by the U.S. Department of Education and College and Universities.  Finding a suitable scholarship that fits your child’ s needs and education desires becomes the challenge. To start the search process you more than likely will turn to the internet.  Turn to sites such as fastweb.com or Finaid.org to start with. Interconnections now become the key to tracking down scholarships: Seek out philanthropic originations, churches, civic groups, colleges and asking for assistance from your child’s guidance counselor.

Encourage your child to apply for scholarships. 

When admission officers look at college applications, they are looking for specific academic criteria.  Whereas a scholarship committee member can choose candidates whom they feel could benefit from the scholarship.    So, even though your child might not fit the scholarship criteria to the letter one should still apply.  There is potential that a member of the committee will find information within the application, essay or interview that sparks their interest and belief that your child is a worthy recipient.

Being prepared makes applying to scholarships easier. 

Scholarship opportunities with immediate deadlines have a way of appearing.  By being prepared one will be ready to send scholarship information at a moment’s notice.   Have copies and have the following documents ready for such occasions:  Official copy of your child’s transcript, Non-specific letters of recommendation from guidance counselor and teachers and a strong personal statement that reflects your child.  The surprise scholarship opportunity should not be the norm.  That is why you should spend one day a week exploring and applying to scholarships.   Waiting until the last minute will place unnecessary stress upon your family.

Watch out for scholarship myths and scams

Scholarship service before the internet used late night infomercials to entice parents to buy their newest scholarship book.  These books promised that there were millions of dollars of scholarship money out there that went unclaimed every year.  You just needed to know where to apply.  This scam now has made its way onto the internet with tons of companies offering to find you scholarship dollars if you pay them a handsome fee. Most of these companies are shady businesses that will not give you a return on your investment.  Also, beware when searching for scholarships you will come across many scam businesses.  These companies will offer their “expert services” to help you find scholarships through their search engine or by paying for their service.  A simple rule to remember is all reputable scholarships are available through free means and be weary of companies asking for money. Last be careful of companies that ask for huge amounts of private information such as: Social Security numbers, Drivers Licensee, Mother Madden Name and other information that can be used to impersonate you or your child.

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