When it comes to paying for college, it’s important to have a plan. Here are some tips for making a plan that will help you find scholarships that meet your needs and goals.
TALK TO YOUR FAMILY.
It is important to have a realistic picture of your family’s financial ability to contribute to your college expenses, so talk to your parents and anyone else that may have a role in paying for your education.
MANAGE YOUR TIME WISELY.
Time management is essential. Don’t just meet deadlines—beat them! Review scholarship application requirements well in advance of deadlines so you have enough time to get the information you need and do everything you need to do.
Listen carefully to announcements at your high school and check bulletin boards for scholarship information, listings and deadlines. Read the handouts you receive from your guidance counselors and the mail you receive from your high school, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and other organizations.
CHECK YOUR EMAIL.
Read all of the information that comes with your admissions letters. Financial aid information may be included or may follow in a separate mailing (most financial aid offers are made in the spring).
COVER ALL YOUR BASES.
There are literally thousands of scholarships available. When you are searching for scholarships:
- Ask your parents to check with their employers to see if they offer scholarships to the children of employees, or check with your own employer.
- Check with organizations you, your parents or grandparents are members of to see if they have a scholarship program.
- Contact the colleges you’ve applied to or visit their websites to find out what scholarships they offer to incoming students. A good place to start is with the department of the subject you plan to major in (e.g. chemistry, physics, music, nursing, education, ROTC, etc.) Contact the director of the department, admissions and financial aid office.
- Don’t be afraid to consider a smaller, lesser-known school if it meets your needs for a quality educational institution. Sometimes they offer more scholarships than larger schools.
GO FOR IT!
Carefully read the eligibility criteria for all of the scholarships you are interested in and if you think you meet the qualifications, go for it! Apply! You have nothing to lose.