3 Answers

Jeff Williams Points380

I recommend looking into merit-based scholarships, which do not consider your family's financial situation. Many schools will offer these based on academic, athletic, and sometimes artistic achievement.  Some schools also offer merit-based scholarships based on community service work. Often these merit-based awards will require an additional application, so please check the schools to which you are applying to learn about your options.

You can also search for privately-funded scholarships. Here is a good article from US News on finding scholarships...

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/the-scholarship-coach/2011/01/20/compare-5-top-scholarship-search-engines

Try researching www.fastweb.com This is a free service listing several scholarship options for students. I have suggested to clients in the past that mom, dad, student each take one hour per week to sift through this website coming together once a week to share what they have found. The listings are so numerous that will will take several weeks and more than one person, to locate those scholarships which would be a good match for your teen. It is an excellent resource, just time consuming but well worth the effort! Good Luck!
Jon Semcer Points3610
Besides the internet, another source for scholarships is the Guidance Department at you son/ daughter's high school. Some departments will send via email a weekly listing of all new offers that have arrived or they place them on the Guidance Department website for students and parents to review. Calling the Financial Aid Office at the schools your son/ daughter will apply to and asking for a listing of the grants being offered ( some academic and some nonacademic). If you belong to community organizations they more certainly have grants available ( student should apply early). Your employer may have some monies available ( based on academic work) Not applying to any of these possible offers all but assures your son/daughter of being denied. It requires determination and long hours to hunt thru the seemly endless offers, There is money out there and much of it goes unclaimed every year. All students can secure a Stafford Loan but check out the interest rates first if you want to go in that direction. Please keep in mind that the more expensive a school is the more likely the family will get some aid. Your EFC ( expected family contribution) does not change no matter what the cost of the college is .For example, College X cost $10,000 a year to attend and your EFC is $10,000. You get no aid. College Z cost $50,000 a year to attend and your EFC is still $10,000 a year -- a gap of $40,000. Good hunting with nonacademic monies -- it is out there.

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