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Juanaquena Said,
May 25th, 2014 @10:33 am  

1. Talk with a high school guidance counselor & learn all you can about selecting a college/univ. you can afford & learn about all the types of student financial aid, including scholarships.

There may be locally funded scholarships just for students graduating from your high school or for students within your area. A HS counselor should know about them.

2. Learn about the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid – http://www.fafsa.ed.gov ) from a HS counselor. You may be eligible for Federal Pell Grant funds. You can complete the FAFSA4caster first to find out an estimate of what you may qualify for – see the link below in the Source box.

Some scholarship granting organizations require the applicant to have completed and submitted the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid – http://www.fafsa.ed.gov ) – the same form most US colleges and universities need to help determine the amount/type of financial aid to offer students.

3. Many colleges/universities* have scholarship/grant funds (funds that do not need to be repaid) for just their own students. Staff members of the colleges/universities will need the info from your completed FAFSA to determine if you will be awarded any scholarships/grants. Scholarships generally require excellent high school grades. *By colleges/universities I mean: local taxing district funded community colleges, state government funded colleges and universities, & private and independent colleges/universities (not to be confused with for-profit/career/proprietary colleges, which first & foremost are businesses with the main focus of earning profits for their shareholders.)

4. You can also look for scholarships for which you may qualify by using what I think is the best, most reliable database: Scholarship Search from the well-respected College Board:
* http://apps.collegeboard.org/cbsearch_ss/welcome.jsp
Click on the Start link in the middle of the text.
If you choose to register (free) so you may return later & modify your search strategy, feel secure that you will not receive spam emails. A HS guidance counselor can advise you on using Scholarship Search & give you tips on how not to select too many defining terms in your search strategy, which may result in a poor search result.

5. When you do find a scholarship for which you want to apply, make sure you meet the requirements, be sure to follow the application rules to the letter; use perfect spelling, grammar & punctuation; & submit your application before the deadline. Note: For the 2012-2013 school year many scholarship deadlines have already passed or are coming up soon.

6. Many other students will be applying for the same scholarships & only a few or maybe just one will be awarded.

Please do not pin all your hopes of higher ed. financing on being awarded enough scholarship/grant funds to cover all your college expenses. I do hope you have been saving any gift money and earnings – as much as possible for a number of years.

7. If you are hoping to land a full-tuition scholarship, there are not many around.

For students enrolling at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, over the next 3 years (2012-13 school yr. thru 2014-15 school yr.) the college is waiving tuition: the Horace Mann Fellowship. The school plans on enrolling just 65-75 new students Fall 2012. The class starting Fall 2011 had average unweighted high school GPA of 3.56 and an average ACT score of 27, the equivalent of a 1250 on the SAT. The school admission application deadline: Feb. 15. The web site for the school: http://www.antiochcollege.org . Note: Do not confuse Antioch College with Antioch University. You can read more about the offer here:
CBS News Money Watch, Jan. 27, 2012
* http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-57366996/how-to-get-a-$106000-college-education-for-free/

A link to one online article that discusses a few full-tuition scholarships:
* http://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarships-by-type/full-tuition-scholarships/

QuestBridge – offers some full-tuition scholarships to some schools
* http://www.questbridge.org/

If you are big on science or mathematics & plan on majoring in a science, mathematics, or engineering you may wish to investigate the S.M.A.R.T. (Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation) Scholarship.
* http://smart.asee.org/
It is a chance for students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in identified sciences, technologies, engineering, & math disciplines to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully employed with the U.S. Department of Defense upon degree completion. Read more about it on the web pages through the home page link I gave above and in this PDF (Adobe Reader) document:
* http://www.me.vt.edu/academic_programs/graduate/ASEE%20SMART%20AWARD.pdf

For students meeting the minority qualification, there is the Gates Millennium Scholars Program:
* http://www.gmsp.org/

Best wishes

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