Fact #1: College tuition is expensive. Much has already been said about the cost of attending college. There is really no such thing as a bargain.
Fact #2: Scholarships are out there. Yes, many of them require some effort in the form of filling out a form and/or writing an essay. Yes, some of them are long shots. And yes, they can really make a difference.
Just ask Jennifer Lonchar, SVP for Strategic Marketing at Carnegie Dartlet, about CollegExpress, a database that connects students with available scholarships.
According to Lonchar, “The biggest thing with scholarships that students need to remember is ‘you need to apply for them.’”
However, a myth exists. Some students believe that in order to qualify for a scholarship they need to be exceptional. Or super interesting, or partake in a crazy hobby, or be related to a revolutionary war hero.
“That’s not true,” explains Lonchar. “Of course, there are scholarships out there for high achieving students and things like that, but the most eye-opening thing for me is the amount of incredible scholarships that are out there that are available for anybody, that anybody could qualify for.”
So where can families find these scholarships?
CollegeXpress is a great resource for scholarships. “It’s one of the largest scholarship data bases out there,” says Lonchar. And, if you register on CollegeXpress, you automatically enter a drawing for a $10,000 scholarship. That may be the easiest scholarship to apply for!
To get started, Lonchar recommends that students commit to using the CollegeXpress database on a regular basis. “I would say to try to do one scholarship application a week. Then you get them in and you’re constantly doing them. Some of them you can start as early as your junior year.” This way, a student gets in the habit of filling out the applications and gets their name out there.
“It’s kind of like the lottery,” reflects Lonchar. “You’ll never win if you don’t enter.”