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Scholarship Detective 101

Parents and students often remark that they find scholarships to be elusive.  They know they exist.  They even know people who have gotten scholarships.  But when it comes to meeting their own college costs, they feel that the scholarships they find often have some qualifier that they do not meet.
 
Many websites and books on college planning refer students to online college search engine websites.  They sound like the perfect solution to scholarship search frustration.

Scholarship paper chase

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.

Scholarships for Fun and Profit

Scholarships. To students, the word scholarship often conjures up a vision of work for which over-scheduled students have little time in search of money that may not materialize.  Worse, the work is writing essays, a skill left in the dust of emails and texts.

As grant aid hangs in the balance of the federal budget axe and college tuition rises to cover costs increasingly not covered by state governments, parents and students are left to manage the difference between what colleges offer students as part of admissions and financial aid offers and what college actually costs.

Got a rising high school junior?

Parents of rising high school juniors have been busy making sure their kids master the SAT or ACT and select the right high school courses to gain college admission. Hopefully they've also been taking a few college tours or are planning to stop off at some colleges on this summer's family vacation.  

But there is something else just as important that most parents and their rising high school juniors are not doing this summer....searching for scholarships.  Scholarship searches are not just for the spring of the senior year.

Don't wait to hear from your college


May 20, 2011  At this time of year many parents and students are waiting.  Waiting for admission acceptance, waiting for financial aid notification, or waiting for a student loan check or other critical college enrollment event.  They patiently watch their home mailbox, wait by the phone and look for email.

The problem is that in some cases, colleges are communicating in additional ways outside parent and student experience.

In many cases, parents complaining that their student  has no financial aid award are mistaken.