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Scholarship Displacement

Third-Party Scholarships and Outside Scholarships: How to Find Them And What to Watch Out For

Once you’ve filed the FAFSA and are awaiting financial award letters from colleges, students should take some time to pursue what are commonly referred to as third-party scholarships, or money awarded from organizations other than the colleges themselves. Third-party scholarships, also known as outside scholarships or private scholarships, can help fill unmet need that's not covered by your financial aid package. However, it's important to check colleges' policies on outside scholarships because different schools treat them differently. Here's what you…

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Merit-based Aid

5 Ways to Maximize Merit-Based Aid

Merit-based aid financial aid (typically scholarships) is financial aid that colleges give to students based on their grades and test scores. Maximizing merit-based financial aid is particularly important for middle-income families who don’t qualify for most of the need-based aid that’s available. Here are five ways to increase your student’s chances of qualifying for more merit-based financial aid. « Learn more about scholarships 1. Get good grades in college prep classes Having good grades (and a good grade point average)…

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Watch Out for Front-Loaded Scholarships

You may have wondered, do you get more financial aid after freshmen year? Many sophomores, juniors and seniors begin the school year with a rude awakening: The financial aid packages they received as freshmen have shrunk. Scholarships and grants, which make aid packages so wonderfully enticing for first-year students and their families, often melt away starting the second year of school. Students are often given less aid overall or they're offered mostly loans. This concept is known as scholarship front-loading…

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Scholarship Displacement

Top Scholarship Myths

As an independent college career counselor, I hear lots of scholarship myths. Here are the most common: 1. Everyone has a scholarship. This scholarship information is not true. Most money comes from the college itself in the form of grants or loans. Most people do not apply for, nor have scholarship money. Schools often use the word “scholarship” in reference to many different things, even things like a “tuition discount.” Beware of the use of the word “scholarship.” 2. You should…

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Writing Winning Scholarship Essays

By Guest Blogger Audrey Jenkins Audrey Jenkins is a skilled freelance blogger covering a range of topics from careers to travel and leisure, along with everything in-between. In this blog, she covers how to write a good scholarship essay. « Learn more about scholarships Writing Winning Scholarship Essays The scholarship application process can be a headache in and of itself, so the last thing you want to see in addition to an application form is an essay prompt. Instead of…

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Understanding Types of Scholarships

Have you ever wondered if you could earn extra money for college through scholarships?  No matter how good your grades are or how much money your parents make, you may qualify for hundreds of scholarships.  To improve your odds of winning a scholarship, you can start by learning about the different types of scholarships for college. The three main types of scholarships for college are merit, need-based and other.  Here is a brief description of each one and some little-known…

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Outside Scholarships That Fill Unmet Need

A lot of families have been discouraged from pursuing outside scholarships for reasons I have already discussed in a previous blog--that the colleges will not use them to fill unmet need. Spending hours pursuing outside scholarships--that is, scholarships that are from private organizations separate from your school-- that are only going to reduce the financial aid you would have gotten otherwise, is not the way you want to spend your time. A number of colleges across the country, however, have…

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Some Additional Perspective On Outside Scholarships

After reading Stephanie Kennedy’s blog on outside scholarships for college, I thought I would jump into the conversation and give some of my own perspective on using them as a valid money-saving strategy for college.   Know The Limitations Though Stephanie already mentioned that many schools will replace other grants with these scholarships, resulting in no benefit to the family, some will allow you to use them to reduce your student loans.  Still, others will apply them to your “unmet…

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