Parent Info‎ > ‎

Scholarship Pointers

1. Get the Facts
  • Know your child’s credentials. Review your child’s eligibility for scholarships by requesting a copy of your child’s transcript, standardized test scores and creating a list of his/her club, sports and extracurricular activities.

2. Sticker Price vs. Affordability
  • Paying for college is a family decision.
  • The tuition price in the brochure is not what low income families pay. 65% of college students receive financial assistance to attend college
  • Financing a child’s college education at a 4 year institution generally costs $50K - $80K. If you are like most families, and you want to be considered for scholarships and grants, in most cases you will need to provide the following financial documentation to scholarship providers and colleges: IRS Form 1040 or 1040EZ, W’s, 1099’s, child support, TANF letter, social security, unemployment or veteran’s benefits.
  • Colleges use a formula to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This is the amount that your family is expected to pay for your child’s college education. You can estimate your EFC by using a free online calculator, such as the FAFSA4Caster
  • Paying for college is a family decision and your child may need to know your household income. Prepare your tax return in January or as early as possible. This will be helpful as you fill out the FAFSA (Federal…), which is required in order to apply for federal aid, such as Pell and Map grants…
3. Research
  • Help your child by signing up for free online alerts from websites like FastWeb and other scholarship sites. Click here for more info

4. Deadlines
  • Verify scholarship deadlines. Check the scholarship provider's web site and verify the deadlines. This Scholarship Guide was produced before the current year’s deadlines could be verified. Go to the provider's web site, email or call the college contact for confirmation of current year scholarship deadlines.
  • Make a family deadline 2 weeks before the official deadline to ensure that applications are submitted in time.
  • Create a master schedule of your scholarship deadlines and follow up with your child

5. Paper Trail
  • Make a copy of every scholarship application and record the date submitted.
  • Never send original tax returns, W2’s or other proof of income records (make copies to send).

6. Beware of Scams

  • Every year, several hundred thousand students and parents are defrauded by scholarship scams. The victims of these scams lose more than $100 million annually. Scam operations often imitate legitimate government agencies, grant-giving foundations, education lenders and scholarship matching services, using official-sounding names containing words like "National," "Federal," "Foundation," or "Administration."
  • Beware of FREE seminars provided by insurance companies, banks and brokerage firms. These events are usually to sell you products.
  • We recommend that you do not:
  • Pay an application fee for a scholarship, to redeem a scholarship prize, any person or company to search for scholarships
  • Respond to emails requesting your social security numbers
  • Pay anyone to help you obtain federal and state financial aid