While the world of college financing may have changed dramatically over the last generation, technology has made searching for scholarships simpler and more focused.
If you have started working with your high school student to find money for college, you may have noticed that there are some innovative ways of securing scholarships today — including micro-scholarships and personalized searches. With all of the new search methods available for scholarships, though, be aware that you should never be required to pay for one.
One new approach is called the micro-scholarship, which allows students to earn scholarship dollars incrementally over their high school careers through a website like raise.me.
How does it work?
Students create a portfolio and follow colleges they are interested in attending. Each school offers a list of goals and tasks for a student to achieve in order to earn scholarship money for that school. Tasks can be things like earning top grades in a certain course, volunteer work or extracurricular activities. As students complete each goal, they record it in their portfolio and can see the corresponding scholarship dollars accumulate. When students apply to and are accepted at a certain school, the micro-scholarships they earned for that school are automatically included in their financial aid package.
Personalized online searches
Another option for finding scholarships is through a personalized online search, such as the one at Tuition Funding Sources (TFS)—a website designed to help students find scholarships, college and career information. TFS is one of the largest scholarship databases with over $41 billion in scholarship awards along with a career personality test and detailed college and career information.
How does it work?
The TFS website allows students to create a personal profile with details about their educational and career goals, which is used to find scholarships that match the information they provided. This personalized approach can save time by helping students zero in on scholarships for which they qualify.
TFS also includes a large number of scholarships that are sponsored by individual colleges and universities—it’s a big category of scholarships that you and your student want to look into.
Start early to take advantage
No matter what method your student is using to seek out scholarship money, it’s important to get started early. Remind your student that getting a solid start during junior year is important: deadlines will come up quickly and senior year is a busy one.