Hunting for Scholarships

Jun 23 2012

For high school students planning to enter college within the next year, this should be your scholarship mantra: “Apply early and apply often! Hunt for Scholarships!”

With the cost of college rising every year, students need to pay more attention to getting their college scholarship applications filled out. In today’s economy, very few students can get through college without some type of student loan or financial support.  Without the help of a scholarship, the cost of college can be a huge burden to parents or to students if they have to resort to student loans that will need to be repaid.

According to various studies, the cost of average tuition and associated fees increased approximately 6% over the past year.  Currently, that means that the average annual cost (that means every year) is almost $13,000 for students who are enrolled at four-year public colleges, and over $22,000 for the equivalent four-year private colleges.

By comparison, the cost of attending a college like Stanford or Harvard is almost $50,000 per year.The number and variety of scholarships available today is almost staggering. There are several options for those in financial need (which include the federal Pell Grants), but many universities, corporations and various organizations also offer merit- or academic-based scholarships.

Some students think that they should only apply for the big-ticket scholarships, but that is simply untrue. Any student can apply for – and be awarded – many scholarships. And it’s important to note that not all scholarships require you to have a financial need or an exceptionally high grade point average. While it is certainly important to read the eligibility requirements before completing the application, there are many scholarships available to just about anyone.

The bottom line is to apply early and often! Fill out as many college scholarship applications as you can find, and when you’ve done that, find some more. The cost of college is not decreasing, and you will need the financial help; hopefully you’ll be able to graduate from college debt-free!