Higher Education

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Don’t think that searching for scholarships is hopeless just because your child doesn’t have a 4.0 GPA and isn’t the star quarterback. There is plenty of scholarship money out there that is up for grabs based on factors that have nothing to do with academics or athletics.

Volunteer work, ethnic background, artistic ability and religious affiliations are just a few reasons students can be eligible for a variety of awards. Churches, local social groups and even parents’ employers can be surprising sources of financial aid. Best of all, many scholarships only require an application and an essay.

Here is a step by step guide to maximizing your scholarship search:

1. 9th and 10th grades:

Talk to the student’s high school guidance counselor.

  • Ask about scholarship opportunities as soon as discussions about college start. Make students aware of the investment ahead.
  • Scholarships, particularly local ones, can be awarded as early as 9th grade, so don’t wait!
  • Check for a scholarship board, newsletter, or email list to get updates that might keep the student informed of the latest opportunities.
  • This is where you will find local scholarships from local community foundations, who want to specifically support area students.

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