There is a virtual cornucopia of college scholarship and grant opportunities available to people looking to go to college. I keep trying to impress this upon my son, who is a high school senior, but it just doesn’t seem to sink in. When I was his age I stopped by my high school counselor’s office weekly, made phone calls searching for opportunities, and filled out dozens of applications. I received enough scholarships that I got paid to go to college my first year, subsequent years had tuition and books paid for through these scholarships and grants.
A scholarship offered by his employer needs to be postmarked by the end of the week. He needs to do several tasks, including fill out the application, get his transcript, a letter of recommendation, and write a short essay. I ask him every day about his progress, to which I get a blank stare. Teachers need time to write the letter of recommendation, and his essay should include a rough draft and a round or two of editing. This is NOT something that he can leave all for the last minute. The words that come out of his mouth are, “There’s such a small chance that I’ll actually get it.” After which I launch into all of the reasons he should fill out every application he can:
College Is Super Expensive
My son is going to a public state university, which has an estimated annual total cost of $16K – $19K per year. Every single dollar helps bring down the cost, reducing the money needed out of my pocket, his pocket, or in student loan needs.
It’s Doesn’t Take That Much Time
The total time to do all the tasks needed to submit the application to my son’s employer is probably two hours. That’s not a lot of time to potentially get $1000 off the cost of his first year of college.
There is no cost to apply for the scholarship, or to gather the materials needed to fill out the scholarship. There’s no risk associated with the process either. There’s no hit to his credit score, and no negative side effects to NOT getting the scholarship.
Each Application Gets Easier
Many scholarship applications require essays, student resumes and high school transcripts. Resumes can be reused (or slightly tweaked), and multiple transcript copies can be requested at once. The subject matter of essays will vary, but some ideas may be able to be reused.
Competition Is Weak
Many people do not realize what scholarships are offered. For example, the scholarship through my son’s employer can be found through a simple search on their website, but it’s not on the front page, nor is it advertised in stores, and management hasn’t mentioned it to employees. Many others feel exactly as my son does, believing they don’t have a chance. The one statistic to keep in mind is this: You have a 0% chance of getting scholarships you do not apply for.
Now is the time for my son to fill out as many scholarship applications as possible. Some he’ll get, and some he won’t. With every scholarship received he makes it easier on himself to graduate from college debt free and start his adult life with a clean financial slate.
What do you think, Clever Friends? Did you apply for a lot of college scholarships?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock
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