The following article is one of several articles previously published by Hawk Educational Solutions in 2015. Please review this updated version for the 2018 college planning season.
Like clockwork, every October and November, many 12th graders, parents, teachers and college counselors struggle to submit scholarship applications on time while hustling through the flurry of standardized testing, university applications, housing decisions and the unsubsidized loan nightmare that is FASFA. The storm of anxiety and stress quickly gathers strength and leads to monumental burn out long before our prospective collegiate “athletes get off the blocks” of their first year at university.
How can this be?
- Many scholarship application deadlines overwhelmingly arrive before or as college acceptance letters start rolling in, usually in early spring.
- In fact, the majority of scholarship applications are due long before students’ intent to enroll deposits are due in May.
How can this be resolved?
By 12th graders:
- As soon as, if not prior to submitting university admissions applications, immediately apply for scholarships. See Cal Poly Pomona’s Bronco Scholarship application (BSA)
- Most universities have their own scholarship websites that host a multitude of smaller scholarship opportunities through university funding and private foundations.
- These are often only available if you create a scholarship application profile through the target university.
- Note: Scholarship system applications are often not part of your college application. They are separate. Do not assume you’ve applied for scholarships with your college application.
It’s never too early to begin your research! Look into younger scholars and college readiness programs for your elementary and middle school students:
- The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation: The Young Scholars Program is directed at students as young as 7th grade.
- Johns’ Hopkins Center for Talented Youth: Summer programs and college guidance are available to students as early as 2nd grade!
- Unigo.com: A great site to catapult your search for college-bound tots and “tweens!”
By Teachers and Counselors:
- Get to know your financial need-based and merit-based scholarship websites and deadlines, which include
- Better yet, compile an online resources page, similar to our Hawk Educational Solutions’ Resources Page (albeit, a more comprehensive page of course), which provides links to a variety of scholarship sites and databases.
- Most importantly, discuss these resources with parents and students in person or through online video chat sites such as Google Hangouts or Skype.
As always, gathering the knowledge and resources early tames the mayhem, clears the fog and betters your chances of gaining the financial assistance you and your students need for a debt-free college future!