Paying for college is at the forefront of many parents’ mind. So this is my gift to you this Mother’s Day.
“Do you know of any good scholarships out there? Where should begin to look” Those are questions that I hear almost on a daily basis. Paying for college is definitely a hot topic in our household too. In order to finance my education I worked- part-time waiting tables. I also received way too many student loans, because Sallie Mae and I had a relationship for 12 years too long!
I promised myself that we would not allow our children to experience such servitude. Therefore, they get a speech starting in the sixth grade that kind of goes like this: “You are going to college and you will not have any student loans. So begin thinking of a way to finance your own education.” Our daughter did it. Now we are working on, I mean with our son.
By no means am I proclaiming to be an expert in the area of financing education, but I am willing to share what I know with you.
If you live in North Carolina, the NC 529 is a good option. It’s something about taxes...that’s right, you don’t have to pay taxes on the money saved in this account if it is used for educational purposes. This account came in handy for unexpected expenses. Become familiar with this site, https://www.cfnc.org/index.jsp, as everyone has to fill out the FASFA.
Places of Worship
From our experience it is far easier to win a local scholarship than it is to win those big national scholarships. I would say begin from the inside, then go out. Begin with your local church, mosque, or place of worship; those institutions typically have scholarships available for high school graduates. Investigate to see what your child must do in order to receive one.
Most high schools have scholarships that students can compete for from the PTA or band/athletic booster clubs. Research the requirements for those.
Check out your bank or credit union as they often have foundations that give scholarships. Here is a sweet scholarship from the State Employee’s Credit Union: https://www.ncsecufoundation.org/scholarships.html
This website provides a large database of scholarships for students: http://www.scholarshipplus.com/charmeck/source.cfm
Fraternities & Sororities
Remember local fraternities and sororities. These service organizations enjoy helping young people achieve their goals!
Fortune 500 Companies
There are some big dollar scholarships available to students. The following website provides information about fortune 500 companies and their scholarships: http://www.collegescholarships.org/fortune500.htm
Do you have a student who enjoys writing? Essay contests are the way to go. Check out this website: http://usascholarships.com/tag/essay-contest/
Military ROTC Scholarships
The U.S. Army offers two-, three-, and four-year scholarships. This is a great way to serve our country and pay for college: http://www.goarmy.com/rotc/scholarships.html
U.S. Air Force ROTC: https://www.afrotc.com/scholarships
U. S. Naval ROTC: http://www.nrotc.navy.mil/requirements.html
PSAT-National Merit Program
Perform well on the PSAT and become a National Merit Scholar. This scholarship is for $2,500 and it sets the student up nicely for scholarships from the college or university he or she will attend. http://www.nationalmerit.org/s/1758/start.aspx?gid=2&pgid=61
Colleges & Universities
Most colleges and universities award incoming freshmen scholarships based on grade point average, class rank, standardized test scores or similar criteria.
At UNC Chapel Hill the Morehead-Cain Scholars Program is more than a feather in one’s cap program. I’m sure the experience is everything. I hear that the Carolina Covenant is awesome as well. You may learn more about UNC scholarships here: http://admissions.unc.edu/afford/scholarships/
At NC State this website https://ncsu.academicworks.com/ is the mother load for financial assistance, but the Park Scholarship: https://park.ncsu.edu/ is the full ride scholarship that many students set their sights on.
Professional Assistance - The Scholar Mom
Bernice Feaster is a mom of two sons who won over 2 million dollars in college scholarships. She knows how to find money based on a student’s abilities and talents. If you feel like you need help navigating through the scholarship search, Bernice is the one to go to. Read her story here: http://thescholarmom.com/ All of her contact information is available on her website.
Make this journey a fun experience as it does require lots of research
Seek professional support - The Scholar Mom
Develop your strategy
Get organized - get a binder
Write a personal statement/essay that can be tweaked to meet the requirements) of the scholarship
Research, research, research, Leave no stone unturned.
Work to increase your SAT/ACT score
Hope this helps and have a Happy Mother’s Day!