Winning College Scholarships in High School
- 5 hours on-demand video
- 7 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
Get your team access to 4,000+ top Udemy courses anytime, anywhere.Try Udemy for Business
- Win free scholarship money for college expenses
- Identify scholarships that are right for you
- Overcome self-doubt and actually apply for scholarships
- Craft polished college-scholarship applications
- Pass end-of-section comprehension quizzes
- Beat your competition and win real scholarship money!
- No materials are required - just your computer, a connection to the internet, and your time!
This 5-hour video course is for every high school student and parent who wants to know how they are going to ever pay for college!
It's designed so that YOU will win Free Money to pay for college in the form of college scholarships that are a perfect fit for YOU!
There are thousands of college scholarships out there. How will you sift through them? Which ones are worth your time and effort, and which are just a waste of time? Once you find them, how do you apply to win? What can your family do to significantly UP your chances of winning a highly-competitive, highly-valuable top scholarship and to REDUCE the amount you pay out-of-pocket for college?
By taking this course, you'll be on the road to earning thousands of dollars in college scholarships. It's our goal to teach you how to find those thousands of dollars and claim them for yourself, before the other kids get to them first!
This well-organized 5-hour video course includes sections on:
- Finding College Scholarships and Narrowing Your Scholarship List
- Applying For and Winning College Scholarships
- Alternative Financial Aid Options
- End-of-Section Quizzes to Increase Comprehension
- Additional Relevant Articles in PDF format
- Bonus Section!
Start this course today before deadlines disappear and scholarship opportunities evaporate. Paying for college will be in the top-10 decisions of your financial life - don't put it off another moment.
Click the "Take This Course" button at the upper-right of this page to get started!
- This online course is for EVERY college-bound high school student and parent!
- The course is particularly good for college-bound high school students and parents who want to pay significantly less for college and save money on the expensive cost of higher education.
- This course is also meant for students and parents who just want to learn more about their scholarship options.
- This course is NOT for families who have more than enough money to easily pay for college.
- This course is also NOT for students who are 100% sure they will NOT be applying to any colleges.
Welcome to the "Winning College Scholarships" Video Course from Love the SAT!
After this course, you'll be ready to win thousands of dollars in scholarship and grant money to reduce your higher education expenses and increase the value of your college education.
Meet your instructor, Christian, from Love the SAT!
Christian is the founder and manager at Love the SAT Test Prep and College Consulting. He's earned a perfect score on the SAT, mastered difficult classical piano repertoire, learned to ride a motorcycle and started his own small business. He's also tutored hundreds of students and trained employees in the art and science of test prep and college consulting.
But, when he was younger, Christian did NOT learn anything about college scholarships and as a result, he owes a fair amount of money on his student loans. That's one of the many reasons he's motivated to make this course something families can use to win more scholarship money and make it financially easier to attend college.
What are the purposes behind the "Winning College Scholarships" video course?
Learn more about our goals for the course and how it will help you find and win money for college and university.
We want to make sure you win enough scholarship money to "move the needle" - to make a REAL difference in your life!
Applying to scholarships doesn't have to be hard, but it does take a lot of time.
Understand exactly the amount of time and effort this project will require, and realistically expect to spend a certain amount of time finding and applying to scholarships.
You can get this all done - I believe in you! But, for maximum results, you need to start on your scholarship hunt as soon as possible.
When it comes to college scholarships, authenticity matters. Most of the work needs to be done by the student.
On the other hand, it can be very wise to enlist the help of an expert to plan and polish your college scholarships.
We offer personalized 1-on-1 scholarship counseling at Love the SAT! This private service can be a valuable investment that quickly pays itself back through additional scholarship victories.
Now that you know more about your instructor and the purpose behind the course, it's time to get
We'll start with a Scholarships Timeline - year by year planning.
Then we'll talk about how to FIND and NARROW a list of college scholarships.
Next comes APPLYING, POLISHING, and WINNING scholarships.
Near the end I've put together an ALTERNATE FINANCIAL AID options and BONUS section.
Finally we'll review everything we've learned!
The College Scholarships Timeline will help you avoid the cramming situations that derail scholarship applications. This year-by-year plan establishes important milestones and deadlines for the scholarship process.
High school students and families are insanely busy with other activities! I get it!
But, if you don't deliberately carve out some time to plan and apply for scholarships, I guarantee that unfortunately, you will run out of time for scholarships before you know it.
This idealized College Scholarships Timeline helps you imagine the best-case scenario for your own scholarship apps, and from there, you can customize the timeline to fit your personal scholarship situation.
6th-8th grade might seem really early to consider college scholarships, and it is.
But, middle school is a time when you define how you will perform in school, sports, other extracurriculars, and leadership positions and build confidence in your own abilities.
You can also win 6th-8th grade awards and honors that will help position you to excel in high school; from there you will be a strong college scholarship applicant.
Therefore, although 6th-8th grade don't directly impact your college scholarships, this time will set the foundation for your chances at scholarships and high test scores later down the line.
Freshman year of high school is an interesting time. You are adjusting to the new demands of high school during this transition year. Social lives, sports, classes, and activities are all more intense and the stakes are higher and more competitive.
At the same time, you have new options for electives, class choices, clubs, and leadership positions. Make freshman year a successful transition from middle school to high school and position yourself to excel in later years as as an upperclassman.
Freshman year can be a good time to get a very early start on SAT and ACT test prep. You can also start working on your character and teacher references.
Most of all, freshman year is a time for planning and adaptation. Decide what you want to accomplish in high school, learn from the older students, connect with teachers, and pre-plan your high school and pre-college goals.
A strong freshman-year performance will position you to stand out for the rest of high school and win more scholarship money as a result.
10th grade of high school is full-tilt high school, and one of your top priorities is "just maintain."
You will be taken more seriously, so start angling for leadership positions in ways that a freshman simply can't.
Keep participation in extracurriculars and fine arts strong. Start getting involved in community service. Look for new sources of experience. Try to win some awards or competitions!
Academically, keep taking the most difficult courses you can handle and keep your GPA as high as possible while remaining challenged by your 10th grade course load.
Develop your verbal skills (writing, reading, and vocabulary) in preparation for all the writing that will be coming up in 11th and 12th grade.
Start a "long list" of scholarship ideas in sophomore year. Try to research a list of up to 10 or 20 scholarships during sophomore year so that you can apply to strategic scholarships when the moment is right.
Summer before Junior Year is a surprisingly important season and a chance to define yourself, boost your resume, and have a lot of fun along the way.
Expect the coming Junior year (11th grade) to be your toughest year yet - so this summer beforehand is the perfect time to prepare.
Work on your resume, go to some cool summer camps, and get your school projects started early. This is an ideal time to work your first paid job; alternatively, this summer is the perfect time to build up your community service hours,
You might also take advanced, college-level courses or summer school.
Be sure to pre-plan your Junior year course load to challenge yourself as much as possible. Mentally prepare for Junior year - it will be very challenging, but rewarding, in terms of personal and academic growth.
Make sure you have started your scholarship "Long List" research by Junior year. Add to the list whenever you find new and appealing scholarships that might be worth applying for.
Junior Year is a tough, but rewarding year in terms of academic and personal development.
As an 11th grader, you'll now have "Upperclassman Status" which gives you much better chances at leadership positions. At the same time, you still won't be too intimidating to the younger 9th and 10th graders, so Junior year is perhaps the ideal time for leadership roles.
In terms of scholarships, your best option during most of Junior year is simply to forget about scholarships and focus on your school and activities. There will be so much going on, that you should just focus on excelling, and when you get a break to pick up your head - that will be the time to take all your great new resume-boosting experience from Junior year and apply it to winning college scholarships.
Junior year has begun and it's probably hitting you pretty hard!
In fall term of junior year, the best thing you can do is just focus on school. Focus on clubs, sports, extracurriculars, and leadership positions.
Most of all, focus on your grades and impressing your teachers. If you fall behind in Fall of Junior Year, it's very hard to catch up later. The lessons you miss will compound each other and keep holding you back all year, which also reduces the time and focus you have for scholarships later in the year.
Be a part of stuff. Be seen around campus - be a leader - be an active participant.
Fall term of Junior year is probably not the ideal time for massive community service - but if you can do it, you should.
Don't forget about final exams amidst all the other craziness. Plan from the start of the year to ace your Fall final exams.
Winter Term of Junior Year - what's it for?
A bit of calm in the storm - between Fall and Spring of Junior year.
Don't expect Spring to be easy - finals, end-of-year ceremonies, ACT/SAT, and more will make it very busy.
Winter term, on the other hand, is a great time to use the holidays for verbal skills and scholarship long lists.
The Winter holidays offer a lot of community service options that will look great on your resume and feel good too. Build some character over the holidays!
Spring semester of Junior Year moves at light-speed!
SAT and ACT testing will be big priorities this semester. Along with final projects, exams, clubs, and sports, you may feel completely overloaded. That's why this is NOT the ideal term to do serious scholarship work.
Focus on school and campus. Don't try to do all the "EXTRA" scholarship stuff right now - if you have free time in Spring, put it into ACT/SAT prep first and foremost, because you're getting close to your last chance and all the tension of only having "one more shot."
Congrats on making it through Junior year!
Junior year is over! You've made it to the final summer of high school!
Take a bit of breather, then get down to using this summer for scholarship and college apps, resume boosters, college prep, and having a bit of fun with your friends.
This is an ideal time to hold down a part-time job and get some real-life work experience and realize the value of a college education. This will also motivate you to work on your scholarship applications!
Summer is also a great time to take college-level classes if your community offers that opportunity.
Update your resume with all your accomplishments from Junior year! This will help you be efficient as you apply and fill out multiple college and scholarship applications.
Also leave time for additional SAT and ACT prep, since you are coming up on the final opportunities to raise your standardized test scores (which helps college/scholarship acceptance a great deal).
Your scholarship long list should already be done by this point! If not, get on it! Work on a condensed "short list" of prioritized scholarships that fit you well and will win you lots of money.
College campus visits are often scheduled during this summer - this can also be a chance to interview and to meet the financial aid staff in person.
You need to be using summer before Senior year to actually fill out your college and scholarship applications and essays, and get feedback so that you can polish them.
This is also a fantastic time to do community services hours, which will be useful for all your upcoming applications. Try to be consistent and do some kind of service that authentically fits you.
There's really no time to waste! Don't lounge around all summer - your friends might want to relax, but your competition is working hard on scholarship and college applications.
Senior Year is about leadership. Leverage your position at the top of the totem pole for leadership in clubs, sports teams, academic departments, and fine arts.
Many of these positions are determined at the beginning of the year, so you need to be prepared in advance.
Choose authentic options that get you excited!
Give SAT and ACT scores a high priority during Fall semester of Senior year. You'll probably need your final scores by November, if not sooner.
Focus on grades and teachers - maintaining good impressions, and stopping in to talk to them during office hours.
Fall term is a LOT of work. College applications should probably get the highest priority, since they typically have the earliest deadlines.
Prepare to fight "Senioritis"! It will strike and make you feel lazy and unfocused, and it even hits many of the TOP high school students. It typically gets worse and worse as the year goes on - another reason to get your work done as early as possible in Fall semester.
How can you make the most of Winter term in Senior year to win scholarships?
Well, relative to the last several seasons, this term will probably feel very mellow.
Use this period of calm to apply for more scholarships and make backup plans. There's no limit to the number of scholarships you can apply for, so just keep going for as many as you can.
Spring term will have its own challenges, so be sure to mentally prepare for them!
This is your final semester of high school - congrats!
College is getting closer and closer, and I hope you're excited.
The hardest thing about this term is fighting the Senioritis to get lazy and stop attending classes!
Get more money and get it this semester. You may finally have the time to apply to all the scholarships on your list that you haven't gotten around to.
No more test prep; no more college apps; teachers often start asking less of you - put that extra time and energy into scholarships!
Have a good time, but don't get into trouble! There's a lot on the line at this point!
You made it through high school and you graduated! Your college acceptances are in, but you still have time to affect your scholarship money and financial aid.
Keep applying yourself with your extra free time. You don't need to do a bunch of community service - so just keep doing the scholarship apps and working on your financial situation.
Mentally prepare for college and do whatever you need to in order to prepare.
This section of the course is about finding your "Long List" of college scholarships.
Keep an open mind during this stage! Create a long list because you will trim it down later.
We will also talk about how to keep things organized from the start so that you don't lose any info after you gather it and you prevent any missed deadlines.
Keeping things organized is one of the most important secret weapons for families who plan to apply for multiple scholarships.
Create a simple spreadsheet to keep things more organized. Keep notes on deadlines, application requirements, scholarship names and amounts, and other relevant information.
Also keep track of what you've done for each application ("Completed Short Answers," "Completed Essay 1," etc)
Add to this document and develop it as you go.
Keep duplicates and backups at all time! This personal database is too important to leave to chance.
Parents often try to be extra-helpful by finding scholarships for their children.
However, the bulk of the work should be done by students. This creates authenticity in your scholarship applications and increases the odds of actually winning.
Also, students need to be excited by the scholarships they apply to. Otherwise, it will be difficult to muster up the energy and enthusiasm to complete applications.
The independence and authenticity of a high school student who finds their own scholarships and self-directs their own application process will shine through and result in increased scholarship wins.
Finding scholarships is really easy these days, thanks to the internet!
The hardest part of scholarships is selecting from the giant list of scholarships - a high-probability list of scholarships that would work for you.
To overcome this, start with the easy part and make a giant list. THEN, trim down to top scholarships from there.
Where's the number one place to look for college scholarships?
Online search engines, of course! And I'm not just talking about Google or Yahoo...
Specialized college-scholarship search engines will help you laser-focus on finding a large number of scholarships to seed your personal scholarship database.
Check for the URLs in the video and get your list going today!
Bookstores, libraries, and printed materials like books and magazines (plus, the different environment) can help you come up with new ideas for your scholarships.
A print copy of scholarship info is something you can highlight and take notes on. That alone can create some new insights!
This method is more inefficient, and doesn't take full advantage of modern search technology. However, a non-digital approach can allow your mind to come up with new ideas that may be useful in the scholarship application process.
One more way might be considered the "ultimate" way to find scholarships - and that's to get in touch with a private scholarship consultant.
This is someone who has experience in college scholarships and who can get to know you and help you through the whole process of selecting scholarships, creating and polishing your applications and winning scholarships.
Investing the time and money into serious scholarship prep can, and often does, pay back far more than you invest.
No matter what your personal situation, we hope you'll reach out to us and let us know how we can help you!
A brief review of the "Finding College Scholarships" section.
Stay organized! You will have a lot of information to gather. Use technology to organize and search scholarships.
Create a long list of scholarships first - you'll trim it down in the near future. Try to get a minimum list of 10 scholarships to begin with.
Use search engines, counselors, libraries, and bookstores to create your long list of potential scholarships.
Kids, not parents, should be mainly responsible for completing the scholarship project.
If you are able to, consider investing in a private scholarship counselor. They can often return far more scholarship money than you invest in them.
Email us or visit our website to learn more or ask us your questions!
Time to narrow down that long scholarship list!
Don't delete or eliminate possible scholarships forever. Just move them down the priorities list. If you have more time later on, you can apply for as many scholarships as possible.
Go through Unlikely, Unworthy, and Uninteresting scholarships, and get some outside feedback on your scholarships list.
How many scholarships should you apply for? The ultimate answer is "as many as possible."
But... only if you can give 100% to each scholarship application.
Be careful which scholarships you choose to commit to, and never FORCE yourself to apply to scholarship that you hate.
The first scholarships to de-prioritize are UNLIKELY scholarships - particularly scholarships that don't fit you, or scholarships with basic requirements that you simply do not, or cannot, meet.
As long as you meet the basic requirements and feel a sense of connection to the scholarship, I highly recommend you try to apply for it!
Unworthy scholarships are those which won't return enough money or prestige to be worth the effort.
On the other hand, most scholarships ARE worth the effort - and families tend to under-estimate the potential return on their time.
Compare the amount of time required for you to apply, the approximate odds of you winning, and the total amount of scholarship money as you weigh which scholarships on your long list are WORTHY or UNWORTHY.
A third way to trim your "Long List" of scholarships is to remove or de-prioritize un-interesting scholarships.
You need to be 100% behind each scholarship application, so if only feel 50% interested, you'll only apply 50% effort and you probably won't win.
Trust your gut and de-prioritize scholarships that don't interest you as much as others on your list.
Parents can get involved by looking over the prioritized "Short List" of college scholarships.
By allowing students to organize and build their own scholarship list, parents will find kids take more personal ownership of the project - which adds authenticity and increases odds of winning.
Still, parents can and should look over lists at this stage - to verify the work is progressing and also to offer their positive feedback at this point.
At this stage of the scholarships project we've made a lot of concrete progress.
You should have solid lists of scholarships that are exciting and customized for YOU!
Before you invest huge amounts of time in your applications, this is the perfect juncture to talk to an expert like your school guidance counselor, or reach out to us at Love the SAT and get our feedback.
A quick review of how to narrow down and prioritize your college scholarships list.
Keep your list as long as possible, and instead of DELETING scholarships, you should just de-prioritize them.
Then, whenever you have extra time (especially the summer after senior year) you can keep applying for more high-value scholarship money.
Students should take ownership of about 80% of the process, and enlist parents, guidance counselors, and independent experts to help with the remaining 20%.
Now that you have a solid scholarships list, you will be in a great position to move forward with your actual applications.
Welcome to one of the most important sections: Actually applying for scholarship applications.
Keep duplicates as you work. Start early - because there is a lot of "time lag" in the various sections of the applications.
Brainstorm great ideas, create an outline, and fill out your essay drafts. Then get feedback from advisers and improve based on that.
By starting early and going through multiple phases of brainstorming, getting feedback, and re-writing, you will take on the tough work that most students back down from, and you'll end up with MUCH stronger scholarship essays and applications (and eventually - more scholarship money!!)
Losing your work is one of the most frustrating experiences in the world, and accidents are things you DON'T plan for!
Take a couple minutes ahead of time to design a digital and physical backup of your scholarship materials.
You may be able to use the camera on your phone to digitize your applications as you complete them and keep an emergency backup.
Backups of your scholarship apps add security and provide you peace-of-mind. Hopefully you will never have to use them, but you will have them just in case!
Before you set out to complete your scholarship applications, you'll save a lot of time by first creating a simple (but complete, and well-organized) resume.
I call this a "mini-resume" not because you leave things off, but because you don't need to make this resume LOOK like a resume.
It should be a complete list of your accomplishments, experiences, academics, leadership positions, community service, sports, competitions, activities, etc.
If you can pre-plan or obtain early references from teachers, coaches, mentors, or employers, now is a great time to get those as well.
The more complete your mini-resume is, the faster things will go later on in the scholarship process.
Just because a section of a scholarship of an application is marked "Optional" does not mean you should treat it as optional.
These sections are a chance to set yourself beyond your peers, just by answering the optional sections!
Make sure to use this principle and do a great job on any optional sections of applications to immediately stand out above 90% of your lazier peers.
Time to start filling out applications - but I recommend you start with the simple stuff.
By avoiding the giant essays for now, you'll get the ball rolling without becoming overly intimidated.
Get the scholarship juices flowing by answering simple questions first! Go at half speed and write in your best, careful, slow handwriting.
For most major scholarships, the essay(s) will be among the most important elements of the application.
Take it from someone who loves to write - great essays come from great IDEAS.
What's more, a great idea is FUN and EASY to write about, and the result will be a BETTER essay. So, spend plenty of time brainstorming, until you find a concept that gives you goosebumps because it's so cool.
Brainstorm until you know you have a great idea, one that you want to write about.
When you reach this point, you will want to start writing right away. Use the burst of inspiration to right an INSPIRED rough draft, not worrying about editing or length requirements.
As with so many stages of scholarship applications, getting feedback is critical whenever possible.
However, getting serious feedback on your personal creative writing is something that challenges the egos of many students.
Get direct, honest feedback from sources like:
- School Counselors
- Private Scholarship Consultants
Try forming a partnership with a close friend so you feel comfortable giving and receiving honest, well-intentioned essay feedback.
Learn to set your ego aside, receive honest feedback, and make improvements to your scholarship essays.
If you can make the most of this stage, your essay will be 10 times stronger - 10 times more likely to win real scholarship money.
Make sure you hear what the feedback is really saying... not just what you want to hear!
After getting direct feedback from peers and counselors, it's time to rinse and repeat.
Take the feedback and immediately rewrite your essay. Then bring the new product to a new reader ("shop it out") and get more feedback from them.
By the time scholarship committees look at your essays, it's too late for feedback. They aren't going to tell you WHY they denied your application. It's much better to find and incorporate feedback right now.
Keep this process going indefinitely and both your essays AND your writing skills will be much more powerful!
Once you feel your scholarship essays have reached the highest level they can, and you are proud of them, it's time to transfer the essays to the completed scholarship applications.
Treat this stage carefully. Avoid last minute mistakes and typos, and use your best handwriting.
Whether digital or physical, make sure your essays look polished and perfect in their final form.
Let's review the "Applying for Scholarships" section!
Keep backups of all your work.
Start off with a mini-resume to gather your greatest moments in one place to save time later on.
Don't rush any of the stages. Completing your applications will take time and you cannot force the process.
Search for inspiration before committing to outlines and drafts.
Get the maximum amount of possible feedback on your essays and revise them until they are polished. Transfer them to applications carefully.
Congrats - you've made it a long way on your college scholarships!! It's all going to be so worth it!!
This section take the previous section ("Applying for Scholarships") to the next level!
Learn tips and tricks to stand out and a few risks you can take in service of your goals.
Take your own angle on your scholarship apps - the last thing the world needs is another copycat.
To win scholarship, you have to stand out. Sometimes that just means NOT doing what everyone else is doing!
What do most people do that you can avoid in order to stand out? Let's talk about some of the cliches of scholarship essays.
Community service, travel, and the impact of your grandparents are all super-common application essay topics, making it almost impossible to stand out from the very beginning.
Remember that scholarship essays are typically not mainly about how well you can write; instead, the essays are a way of revealing yourself as a person.
Take your own angle and invest the time to consider how you can stand out and be different from the vast crowd of applications.
Some students struggle with the feeling that they are not impressive and that they don't deserve to compete and win scholarships or spots at top colleges.
Here are some ideas on how you can effectively handle this fear, and even turn it to your advantage through the use of honesty and candid self-reflection.
Letters of recommendation can play a large part in your success or failure.
Reference letters can't be forced, rushed, or coerced.
Find mentors you admire, and who respect you. Then spend time around them, show them the best you have, and never complain.
Go above and beyond to show your work ethic, integrity, and interest. Help them whenever they need an extra hand.
When the time comes, they will pay you back with an incredible recommendation letter.
Not to beat a dead horse, but your grades, course-load, and GPA will be some of the most important factors in your scholarship credibility.
Never stop thinking about how you can improve this aspect of your scholarship resume and raise your GPA.
Every stage of your scholarships application, from research to final essays, will benefit from getting feedback and iterating into a new and improved version.
Constantly look for opportunities to get honest, direct feedback from mentors or peers who care about your success.
Trust yourself, but also listen to the input that others have for you!
Don't be afraid to change. It's better to deal with immediate pain and fix your mistakes, so that you get the long-run payoff of more scholarship money.
I have a feeling that most scholarships are won or lost before the application is even completed.
The student-scholarship match is a key component of scholarship victories and makes everything go smoothly.
Don't force your applications. You'll get frustrated, and the application probably won't win anyway.
We've established a philosophy of doing the extra 20% of work that most students just won't do.
What can you add to your application that would enhance what you've done so far, and make you stand out and remain memorable in the minds of the scholarship judges?
Do you have supplemental portfolio work that can be included? Any awesome sports photos of you (if you've completed a particularly sports-focused scholarship?)
Do anything to make your face stick out in their memory. Avoid the discard pile at all costs. Add whatever you can to the application to make the scholarship committee look twice at you.
Don't be afraid to take a risk to stand out. Can you use a "content risk" or a "style risk" that makes you stand out?
"Content risks" are techniques like writing about failure, when everyone else will probably write about success.
"Style risks" are tactics like printing your application on uniquely-colored paper or including a piece of candy in your application.
Use these tricks like mini-publicity stunts. It may be best-used on low-priority or unlikely scholarships, since you have less to lose.
The sky is the limit. Use your creativity to take a risk, create a unique application, and stand out without breaking the rules.
One last tip in this section - don't let your scholarship application get lost in the mail.
Certified mail tracking can give you a notification when your application has been received. For the peace of mind, it's probably a good decision!
Now's a good time to rework your family budget in preparation for college.
Start simple - the simplest way to have more money for college is to spend less money in other areas. Sit down as a family, go over your current expenses and consider luxuries that can be trimmed back and re-directed into college expenses!
Virtually every family in the US will want to complete the FAFSA: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
The US government has billions of dollars at their disposal and the FAFSA form is your chance to become eligible for federal grants and loans.
Federal Loans usually have very low interest rates and are an excellent backup plan or alternative to scholarships.
The FAFSA is need-based and you will be required to send in financial documentation for your family.
Make sure to plan ahead and study the exact rules of the FAFSA in order to maximize the aid you receive. FAFSA mistakes can be costly!
As you get further into the college application process, you will have a better idea of the exact campuses that you might attend.
Gather information from the financial aid offices of these colleges by calling or visiting them personally.
Prepare a list of major issues, questions and concerns before calling the schools so that you don't have to remember key questions on the fly.
Keep an organized database of the information you collect on each college.
Different colleges handle financial aid in very different ways. Don't assume anything - financial surprises are generally not fun. Instead, get direct 1-on-1 input from the financial aid offices of your top colleges.
While talking to college financial aid offices, make sure to gather information on any Work-Study programs offered by the college.
Although Work-Study jobs are typically low-paying and limited in terms of weekly hours, they may also be convenient, fun, and related to your field of study. In addition, you may be able to work on homework assignments or interact with your college community while you work.
Although the low income is a typical tradeoff, Work-Study has still remained popular for years because of the useful financial aid niche it fills for many students.
Working your way through college is a difficult, but time-honored tradition. The tradeoffs of this method are fairly obvious (takes a LOT of energy and time, and usually requires sacrifices of sleep and/or social life).
Working a non-campus job could be seen as a higher-risk, higher-reward option when compared to work-study.
Another benefit is the chance to gain "real world" work experience outside of your college community.
Generally speaking, the per-hour return on scholarships will be MUCH better than this type of job (winning a few scholarships could return you $50-$100 per hour; typical college job will pay $7-$10 per hour).
Time to talk about student loans!
When it comes to education, debt is not necessarily evil. Investing in yourself is always a good choice.
If you aren't going to win enough scholarships to pay for the full cost of college, you may need to take out student loans. Here are some of the pros and cons, as well as considerations involved in taking out education loans.
Scholarships and Grants are your best option, but smart use of student loans can be an important part of making college affordable. It all depends on your personal situation, preferences, and needs.
Are there any family options to help you pay for college that you haven't considered?
From the "rich uncle" (I don't have one, but you might!) to the "loan from grandparents" and every arrangement in between... it might be worth getting the family involved in paying for college.
Your mileage may vary! Still, it's worth thinking about - try to consider alternate angles or mutual arrangements that benefit both parties.
You might think this idea is totally crazy and would never work for you, but hear me out.
What if you started a side business? Something small, flexible, and based around a passion of yours.
Preferably something on the internet, and set up to require a minimum of time commitment and maintenance from you.
All you need is for a simple internet business is:
- A niche you love to think and talk about
- Content you produce (blog essays, photos, videos, music... whatever! The more the better)
- A simple automated email list
- An audience who reads and shares your content
- A premium information product that helps solve a pain (complete guides, e-books, video courses etc)
Entrepreneurship is a huge topic and we can't go in depth right now, but I know that anyone can start a modest internet business in this day and age that makes a real difference in your lifestyle within a year or two of part-time work.
This is something fun, cool, and a great experience that either parents or students can follow up on!
If you ever want to talk more about this, make sure to email me! Entrepreneurship, small business, and internet business are a few of my favorite topics in the world!
Welcome to the Bonus section!
By this point you already have tons of actionable info and a plan to complete your whole scholarship plan.
Now, I wanted to include some FAQ-type questions, as well as all the cool and crazy ideas that might not have had a place somewhere else.
Feel free to pick and choose the lectures you are most interested in - but if you have time, try to go through them all! The results may be unexpectedly useful to you :)
I've said it before and I've said it again - contact us with your questions, personal situation, or anything you need help with!
You can email Help@LovetheSAT any time, day or night and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
You don't even have to sign up for our services (although we'd love that!) - just sent us an email with your questions!
You can't go wrong getting involved and visible within your community.
Scholarships and the entire college application process (and just living a full and rewarding life) get better when you are naturally involved with a community you love.
Orient around things (activities, niches, interests, games) that you love. When you're authentic and an active member of your community, you will come across more opportunities that make your life interesting, fun, and challenging - naturally making you a better candidate for scholarships.
Normally, the smaller scholarships have lesson competition - and the bigger scholarships have more competition.
Do you plan to win one huge scholarship? Or a dozen small scholarships? Or have you not even thought about it?
The best approach is probably a mix of large, competitive scholarships + more modest, mellower scholarships.
A balanced profile of risk and reward allows you to maximize your odds on the entire scholarship process.
Once you've applied to a few scholarships, you might as well apply to a lot more. 80% of the work is done when you find and apply to your first 3 scholarships. After that point, use the similarities between various scholarships to cut down time as you apply to multiple scholarships.
This lecture covers some of the biggest, most prestigious scholarships in the world. Win just one of these scholarships and you may be set for 4 years!
It would be great to include at least one of these scholarships in your application process - simply because they are so valuable.
Be sure to add them to your personal scholarship database if you feel you would be a great match!
In no particular order:
- NCAA Athletic Scholarships
- Miss America
- United Negro College Fund
- Gates Foundation
- Siemens Math, Science and Technology
- FFA (Future Farmers of America)
- Davidson Fellows
- Horatio Alger Scholarship
- Coca-Cola Scholars
- Buick Achievers Scholarships
- Dell Scholars
- Best Buy Scholarship Program
- KFC's Colonel's Scholars
When are scholarship apps due?
Whether you're starting early or pushing the deadlines to the last second, everyone needs to keep careful track of their app deadlines.
A general rule: the bigger and better the scholarship, the earlier the deadline will be (relative to the school year).
There is a lot of variation in scholarship deadlines, although they often come in "waves."
The FAFSA is due each year at the end of June. This form can significantly affect other scholarship opportunities. Some scholarships require your FAFSA to already be submitted.
Some scholarships are renewable, so even if you have already won them, you will need to apply and win them again the next year.
Most scholarships are due within the school year. You need to plan ahead because you will have multiple conflicting due dates with school, scholarships, college apps, and other activities.
It's pretty common to have to cram sometimes. Don't blame yourself - just focus on a workable plan that makes sense, starting from where you are now.
The 1-2-3 plan is an ideal way to reduce the stress.
Pick "1" HUGE scholarship with a big application. Do this app first - max out, go 110% on this application, including mini resume and essay drafts.
Pick "2" medium-sized scholarships that fit you perfectly. You want scholarships that you have a good chance of winning. Base these applications off the previous giant scholarship app.
Pick "3" small scholarships that you really like. Again, re-use elements of your previous work to save time and increase efficiency.
In a short period of time, you should be able to cram 6 applications and actually stand a good chance of winning at least enough money to justify your effort.
Remember, once you have your first scholarship completed, the work gets easier and easier. So instead of just applying for one scholarship, make sure to re-use your work and complete at least 5 more scholarship apps - even if you are in a rush, this can be very effective.
Most college scholarships have no application fees associated with them. Other than postage, many scholarships are free to apply for.
However, a decent number of scholarships have a small processing fee in order to cover the costs of administering the scholarship.
Fees are not unheard-of, but you shouldn't feel ripped off. If you have to pay application fees, make sure you are applying to a legitimate scholarship.
How are you supposed to find time to do all this?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer, but most students could afford to spend a little more time really considering and comparing various options for paying for college.
Usually you'll realize that scholarships are FAR more effective than most other paying-for-college options. At that point, you'll be more ready and willing to make the sacrifices required to carve out time for college scholarships.
Many demands will seem more urgent than scholarships, but you need to carve out and schedule time deliberately. You will thank yourself later!
Another cool benefit of winning scholarships - if you win scholarships early, you can put those victories on your resume and use them to apply for college!
Prestigious scholarships will not only help pay for college, they'll enhance your applications. And, you'll be able to reuse and recycle your mini-resume and concepts between applications - enhancing everything you send in.
Is there a limit on the number of times you can apply to a college scholarship? Nope, not really! You can generally apply to the same scholarship multiple times - another rule that benefits students who start the scholarship process as soon as possible.
Just want to make this one clear again!
Apply for as MANY scholarships as you physically can!
With colleges, you can only choose ONE college to attend, no matter how many you apply for / get accepted by.
With scholarships, you can apply to, win, and USE as many as you want!
That means you could and should apply for 20-30 scholarships if you can!!
A comparison of the pros and cons of working on your own vs with a professional scholarship consultant.
A lot can be accomplished on your own as a family, using this course as a guide.
However, it can really be worth it to invest in some expert advice - and ideally, a scholarship consultant will more than repay you in terms of scholarship funds won by your student.
I hope you take advantage of all the free content we release to help you!
We have a website, blog articles, other video courses, and more. Our students span the globe from the US to Russia!
You can also easily find Love the SAT on Facebook and subscribe for our popular Word of the Day feature as well as the other articles we share out via social media.
Be sure you are a part of one of our specialized email lists to take maximum advantage of the info we release.
Contact us anytime for more help!
Before you send in your scholarship apps, be sure to control your Google and Social Media appearances.
Scholarship committees are increasingly likely to look you up online and consider the information they uncover as part of your scholarship application.
Therefore, you have to know how to control how you appear online. Here are some tips.
Thanks for studying with me!
I'd like to know you more personally, so please take a moment to send me an email.
Think about the excitement of scholarships and college! This is an incredibly rewarding project, both financially and personally. We are lucky to be alive and to have this chance, and that is the truth.
I wish you best of luck on your scholarship journey.
- Christian at Love the SAT! Test Prep and College Consulting