Yesterday. And since that isn’t an option any more, today, right now, as soon as you finish reading this post.
In last Monday’s USA Today article, “Rising Tuition Forces Spending Cuts,” this quotation caught my attention, “Families are figuring out how to pay for college kind of one year at a time. But we’d like them to be a little smarter about planning and looking at the whole picture.”
Just imagine what it would feel like to have enough scholarship and aid BEFORE you begin college to pay for all four years. With determination diligence, and an early start it is possible. Trust me. I did it (with scholarship $ to spare). How early is too early? There are competitions and essay contests available for middle school aged students. Here are a few to check out:
With outstanding student loans topping $1 trillion dollars last year (yes that’s a T) and tuition increasing on average 15% between 2008 and 2010 at 4 year universities, scholarships are becoming crucial to paying for college for most students. You don’t have to be the top of your class to win scholarships. Many are based on community service, extra-curricular activities, and even physical attributes. For example, there is a scholarship for being left-handed and another for being tall (over 5’ 10” if you’re female and 6’ 2” if you’re male).
Certainly the earlier you start to search for scholarships the more you can apply for. However, if you find yourself reading this as a high school senior or already a college student, it isn’t too late for you!
What is the first step? Go to these websites: Fastweb, Scholarships and Embark and fill out the profiles. You will have to weed through the advertisements and promotional contests to get to the scholarships, but they are there! Be diligent and disciplined and you will find them!