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Seeking Out Scholarships is Worth The Effort!
Scholarships are forms of aid that help students pay for their education. Unlike student loans, scholarships do not have to be repaid. Hundreds of thousands of scholarships and fellowships from several thousand sources are awarded each year.
Scholarships are often reserved for students with special qualifications, such as academic, athletic or artistic talent. Awards are also available for students who are interested in particular fields of study, who are members of underrepresented groups, who live in certain areas of the country or who demonstrate financial need.
With the rising cost of a college education, it behooves students and parents to seek out as much financial assistance as possible. Many scholarships go unclaimed each year, so there is no excuse for not pursuing available scholarships. See your guidance counselor for more information and check our bulletins for helpful suggestions.
Interested in Summer Programs?
Here are some things to consider:
- Your Interests: Programs may be designed for students who are planning a career in engineering or science. Others involve art or writing. Think about what interests you.
- Location: Do you want to be close to home? Would you be happy in a residential program (where you live on campus with other students)? Most financial aid does not include travel expenses, so you need to keep that in mind also.
- Timing: Check the dates to make sure that the program will not conflict with family travel plans or other responsibilities you have.
- Eligibility: Most programs are limited to certain grade levels or ages. However, you need to check the website for more specific requirements. For example, some programs are only for minority students or for students who have a certain GPA (grade-point average). Some may require students to be citizens or legal residents. Make certain you are eligible before you apply.
- Application Process: Each program has specific requirements for the application. Most require at least one (and sometimes more) recommendation from teachers. Some require a short essay or personal statement. Some of the math programs have problems sets as part of their applications. Many have an application fee. Check the website carefully to find out what you need to do. Most have downloadable application materials. It is a good idea to ask someone to help you with the application.
- Deadlines: If the deadline is "rolling" it means that the program accepts applications and offers spots to students as their applications come in. If you wait until the last day of a rolling deadline, it could be too late. Please make sure you give yourself enough time to meet the deadline. Teachers need several weeks notice if they are going to write recommendations. Similarly, the guidance office needs time to put together transcripts.
- Costs and Financial Aid: Some of the programs are very expensive (in the thousands of dollars). But most also offer some level of financial aid, from partial scholarships to full funding. Usually there is a separate application (and often an earlier deadline) for financial aid applications. You usually need to include tax information from your parents. Again, it is a good idea to ask for help as you fill out these applications. A number of programs are volunteer internships (which are free) and some pay you to participate.
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