Scholarships. Parents hope for them but are often unsure how to proceed. Students and parents find the entire college financing process mysterious and confusing. They may not know that they should pursue scholarships until it is too late, usually when they receive a college admissions or financial aid offer significantly less than the actual cost of college.
Students know scholarships are nice to have but they're busy, way too busy. Because students are unaware of the condition of family finances,they may believe their parents have that whole college cost thing handled.
Often students and parents expect the college admission office to send a scholarship offer with their acceptance letter. While that does happen to some, too many receive no scholarship attached to their acceptance letter.
The least effective approach is to leave the whole scholarship process up to the college or the student. Colleges differ in how much scholarship money they have and how it is distributed. Students lack sufficient motivation to do the work required to apply for scholarships because they do not have the experience to grasp the cost of college. They are also usually unaware of family financial challenges. They often do not know how to proceed. And when they do begin the process and see the amount of work involved, they often give up scholarship applications in favor of other pressing deadlines for high school academic work and college admission applications.
A much more effective approach to the scholarship process is to:
The bottom line is not to leave the scholarship process to the student. It is best managed by a family or the student with at least one adult supporting the student in the process.