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  1. #1
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    scholarships

    I have been reading posts in this forum and noticed that many students have mentioned trying to get scholarships from the school that they want to attend. As a parent of a college freshman, I have some suggestions. My son got financial aid from his college, but no scholarships. (They are not readily available from his school.) He did get over $5000 from five scholarships. They were from Sam's Club, the local newspaper (for athletes), a professional organization (related to the business which my husband and I own), and two from military organizations (related from the fact that his father is a Vietnam veteran).

    My point is that there are many, many sources for scholarship monies that have nothing to do with the school which one will or is attending. Look locally, at corporations, and at any organization which you or your parents belong. Some look at need, scholastic achievements, community service and involvement, and/or essays. Some are a small group with limited funds, but with a small pool of potential applicants. Others are big organizations which award many scholarships. My son's grades were not top-notch and he is not a fabulous writer, but he still got the awards.

    You might need to apply to quite a few, but it is often very worthwhile. Look on the internet at sites such a fastweb.com which will list many (50-100) scholarships which might be worth considering depending on your profile. Good luck. Go not be afraid to apply. If you do not apply, you will never get it.

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  2. #2
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    Congratulations to your son. I'm sure he worked hard on the essays that won him those scholarships. It's really hard and frustrating to accomplish.

    I spent several months scouring sources for scholarships. Scholarships fit in very specific molds: Need-based, minority-based, family employment (to the corp that is giving away the funds), age (usually in HS, or middle age-going-back-to-school), major, clubs, and sports.

    I fell into absolutely ZERO of these. I couldn't even get scholarships based on gender because they were all for adult females. I couldn't get art scholarships because they required a major in traditonal arts, or graphic art (my major isn't even known to most scholarships).

    My point is that if you think you or your family fall into one of those categories, then private scholarships help. If not, it's surprising how little scholarship info you can garner when there is SO MUCH education money out there. :/

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    I think that you missed a whole catagory and that is organizations, both local and corporations which provide scholarships open to people who are not members or employees. For examples, Sam Walton Foundation offers two scholarships ($1000) per store (WalMarts and Sam's Clubs); Conoco-Phillips offers scholarships to all Alaskans; our local electric company offers scholarships to non-employees; and many service organizations: Lions Club, Kiwanis, Rotary, etc. offer scholarships to non-members.

    Also many military groups offer scholarships to descendents of soldiers. Heck, Military.com lists scholarships available to descendents of Civil War veterans. Even if your father was not in the military, were your grandfathers?

    I do agree that most of the scholarships that my son got were for high school seniors, but only 1/5 was need-based, 2/5 included essays (short ones at that), 0/5 were minority-based (though my son was in a minority at his school which has a high percentage of Alaska Natives), 1/5 was based on family employment, 0/5 were based on major, 0/5 were based on club membership, 0/5 were based on gender, and 1/5 was based on athletic involvement (not achievement).

    We are not poor, but I did fill out the financial aid forms (now that is a chore!) and my son got financial aid from the school as well as work-study and some zero interest loans.

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    "Clubs" was my shorthand for organizations (I was thinking of stuff like Lion's Club at the time). It doesn't include corporations because those that I came across wanted a relation to employees, or you had to be in HS.

    I looked at military.com, and after wading through the propoganda, I didn't see any way to find scholarships based on decent (other than "dependant").\

    My parents are wealthy--but I am not. This creates a lot of complications to getting grants when I am not considered independant of them, but am paying for all my college experience on my own.

    I'm sure your experience will inspire other hopeful college-bound, anyway.

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    Congrats to your son on the fantastic assistance he's managed to receive in the scholarship hunt. He should consider himself extremely fortunate to have you and your husband as parents that have their stuff together well enough that they can help support him on his academic goals. I wish more parents were as willing or able as you seem to be.

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