“How am I going to pay for college?”
So we turned to one of our favorite college-counselor-admissions-gurus, Angela Conley, for advice on finding money to pay for college. She offered us some good counsel in response. Angela says:
Many high school seniors (and parents) believe that the college process is over around this time of year and everything that can be done has been: the college and scholarship applications were sent . They believe that at this stage there is nothing left to do and there are no more opportunities out there.
But if you’re still looking for money, don’t give up yet! There is hope.
Though many people may tell you differently, you still have time to find those college dollars. Some $1.6 billion was handed out last year, so it’s time to get busy claiming your piece of the pie! Here are a few big scholarships that give out thousands of dollars each year:
The Jack & Jill of America Foundation gives out scholarships ranging from $1500 to $2500 to high school seniors. The Jack & Jill Scholarship is listed along with several others on the UNCF website.
www.uncf.org/forstudents/scholarship.asp or www.jackandjillfoundation.org/scholarships
The Jackie Robinson Foundation scholarship awards $7500 per year ($40K) to 12 recipients nationally. Qualifications include being a minority student with leadership potential.
If you are a freshman of color, check out Inroads for summer internships with Fortune 100 companies, including Microsoft. Get your foot in the door early to increase your chances of success!
Google Scholarships offers money to students in both high school and college who plan to pursue computer science, computer engineering, and various technological fields.
You’re really going to have to hustle if you want to apply for the Seinfeld Scholarship because the application is due on February 6th. Jerry Seinfeld awards 25 scholarships to students in a different borough each year. The chosen borough for seniors graduating in 2012 from high schools in the Bronx.
http://www.seinfeldscholars.com/ or www.pencilfoundation.org
Remember, the scholarships listed above are a few among many possible college scholarships. Don’t wait to do your research. The five biggest aid sites are: scholarships.com, fastweb.net, finaid.com, scholarshipsusa.com and Zinch.com–which matches any money you win!
Finally, in the absolute must category: filing your FAFSA form (https://fafsa.ed.gov/) is essential for financial aid consideration. The priority filing deadline for many colleges is mid-February, but be sure to check in with the colleges you are applying to for their specific due date. However, if you don’t have your 1099s or W-2s yet, don’t despair! You can estimate on your FAFSA now, and if you need to make changes later, send a personal email or make a phone call!
Oh, and if you are applying to any of the 100 or so colleges that meet full need, you also have to complete the CSS Profile through the College Board website (profileonline.collegeboard.com) to the tune of $24 plus $16 per college recipient. If your parents are divorced, those same schools expect a non-custodial profile for an additional $25. This is required regardless of income or location if you want their money!
He or she who waits pays the price and then some! The American average for indebtedness at graduation is $25K. You don’t want to join that club.
Show me the money, honey!
Angela Conley worked in college admissions at Cornell, MIT, and Columbia. She offers college advising sessions in topics such as General Advising, Choosing a College, Getting In, Special Circumstances, Paying for It, College Life.