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NJRoadie

NJRoadie Member

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  • Re: Are there any scholarships for average students to apply to? thanks!

    Is she a minority? Do her parents make little money?
    Let me be honest with you from experience:

    My daughter won $8,000 in outside scholarships, including Carson, Comcast, Simon Youth and several local only ones. She was very organized and applied to over 100. Her qualifications included raising 3 guide dog puppies, editor of high school newspaper, 3.7 unweighted/4.0 weighted and 1260/1600 SAT.

    She got much more money (11,500 a year from Rowan University in NJ) in merit aid from the school she attended. Because of AP transfer of 29 credits and lots of effort, she will graduate in 3 years. Currently has a 3.9 GPA and enters her junior year in the fall. She did not qualify for any ethnic or low income based scholarships.

    She did win a $1,000 scholarship from the college in addition to the merit aid this spring.

    I would strongly disagree with the idea to set expectations on winning scholarships easily to pay for schools. I would advise you to concentrate on finding affordable schools and not to waste money applying to expensive schools you realistically won't be able to attend. One or two dream applications, fine, but don't drop $1,000 applying to 10 places instead of focusing on the schools you can afford (and will enjoy especially coming out with low debt!).

    I also have a foster son who won Gates Millennium. There were 57000 applicants, 1,000 winners. That is a huge amount of competition. Nothing is easy money. He had phenomenal grades, activities, leadership, volunteerism and letters of recommendation.
  • Re: Specific Scholarships/Grants from places other than institutions

    @astenson
    Please provide your stats and what scholarships you won.
    My daughter won $8,000 in outside scholarships, including Carson, Comcast, Simon Youth and several local only ones. She was very organized and applied to over 100. Her qualifications included raising 3 guide dog puppies, editor of high school newspaper, 3.7 unweighted/4.0 weighted and 1260/1600 SAT. She got much more money (11,500 a year from Rowan University in NJ) in merit aid from the school she attended. Because of AP transfer of 29 credits and lots of effort, she will graduate in 3 years. Currently has a 3.9 GPA and enters her junior year in the fall. She did not qualify for any ethnic or low income based scholarships. She did win a $1,000 scholarship from the college in addition to the merit aid this spring.

    I would strongly disagree with the idea to set expectations on winning scholarships easily to pay for these schools. I would advise the OP to concentrate on finding affordable schools and not to waste money applying to expensive schools you realistically won't be able to attend. One or two dream applications, fine, but don't drop $1,000 applying to 10 places instead of focusing on the schools you can afford (and will enjoy especially coming out with low debt!).

    I also have a foster son who won Gates Millennium. There were 57000 applicants, 1,000 winners. That is a huge amount of competition. Nothing is easy money.
  • Re: Is college tuition per year or overall?

    @franticstudies
    Another figure you should think about is COA (Cost of Attendance) - that covers Tuition, Fees, room, board, books, transportation, personal expenses (i.e. movie and a pizza) for the year. I like looking at the website CollegeData for that as a ballpark number, just to get me started.

    Next - when calculating your total 4 year cost, increase the COA by 4% each year for inflation. May be lower than that, but unlikely :( We made up a nice spreadsheet with this added in. Then deducted grants, outside scholarships etc. to give us the total cost for 4 years at each school. Black and white and easy to compare costs across schools.

    Finally, consider that graduating in 4 years takes you being on the ball and scheduling your classes appropriately (so pre-requisite classes are taken and passed at the right time, for example). If you don't graduate in 4 years, you don't get free COA - you still have to pay!
  • Re: Am I eligible & a good candidate for The Gates Scholarship?

    My foster son applied and won as part of the 2015 class. It was an extensive process, 57,000 applicants, 2000 semifinalists (no money given out at this level) and 1,000 winners.

    The process for the "new" Gates opens on July 15 and closes on Sept 15th, I have to believe that is going to have a huge negative impact on the number of applicants. Regardless, I would look back thru this forum, read especially Preston's (northernAZ) posts on how to write a good essay (he has since died, but he was a hugely helpful resource). Start working on your essays NOW. With what you are saying you have to offer, you should be applying to some of the other eligible scholarships - Elks, Jack Kent Cooke, Horatio Alger etc. It is going to take serious effort, but you probably have a solid month to work before school comes back in. Take a look at Courtney Thurston's mentions of other scholarships. Feel free to message me if you need any additional guidance. Best to you.
  • Re: Help! Scared to pay for college! (OP is up-coming HS senior)

    @akirakun The application for the "new" Gates scholarship is not yet open, but as a heads up, it will open July 15 and close Sept 15th according to the website.
    https://www.thegatesscholarship.org/scholarship

    Only 300 winners, so while applying if you are Pell eligible and a minority may be worthwhile, it should not be the only egg in your basket. I highly doubt this very valuable scholarship will be a "just apply" - I would expect there to be essays, at the very least.

    Good luck, and keep reading this Financial Aid forum, tons to learn and people who can help!