I have gotten hardly any scholarships.. =/

<p>Just $200. I am going to major in chemical engineering at a state school. I was #3 in my h.s. class (out of 200), and I had a 2040 SAT. Not great by any means, but still the best in my class by far (no one else broke 1900). The local scholarships favor the financially needy, so even though I have a lot of good ec's and grades/sat/ap scores, I didn't have "reasonable need." That really sucks, considering some of the people who did get full rides and everything..</p>

<p>I'm kind of bummed about it, and I don't know if I should apply online for anything else. You may say do it, but I haven't gotten ANY from online..I've been on fast web. Everyone seems to have super traits or has reasonable need. I guess it's affirmative action in work...</p>

<p>Is there anything I can do? Any scholarships that I may have overlooked? I've heard there are many (some) available to sophomores once they matriculate into a major, but I doubt I'd get that either with just average qualities.</p>

<p>Your post represents what many of us have been saying for awhile. Private scholarships are hard to get and are often very small. NO one can depend on them to pay for college. Typically, a student who has applied to many private scholarships is lucky to cobble enough to pay for books. And, often these scholarships are only for one year.</p>

<p>The bigger scholarships are given by colleges. If a person needs/wants bigger scholarships for all 4 years, they need to go where the money is at...at colleges that give merit scholarships.</p>

<p>I hope you don't need scholarships to pay for your education and only wanted some to reduce your costs.</p>

<p>Yeah, my parents can afford for me to go to college, but I was just hoping that I'd get something. I got a good scholarship to a private college, but it made it only slightly cheaper than my top 20 state school. </p>

<p>I'm still hoping for the Byrd, but I guess I need to go to McDonalds to get an application just to get $$ for a computer or something. I don't want my parents to have to pay for everything...</p>

<p>First son got a big $100, and only after he arrived on campus, and it was mainly for agreeing to fill out a survey each year. Second son got zip. Third son did get one outside scholarship but only because he is a cancer survivor and that put him in a small pool--doubt anyone wants to be eligible for that one. All three sent out a lot of apps. I was and still am a bit sore that they didn't get a dime from local organizations. All three were at the top of their game in some activity. Didn't matter.</p>

<p>Your story is a pretty familiar one. The lead-on at fastweb is very, very misleading, as you've found. If you're not an under-represented minority, or from a very low EFC family, or in some incredibly special circumstance, you're just not likely to get a whole lot. </p>

<p>Have you looked into scholarships that your college offers? The school/department you're going to attend? Some of those are less restrictive (but not always.)</p>

<p>Having gone through the college process with my oldest kid this year, I think the best way for a strong but non-stellar student to get decent merit money is to apply to schools slightly below the kid's "match" level. </p>

<p>The trick is to identify schools in which the student's stats put him in the top quarter of the class, but are still challenging enough that the kid will get a good education.</p>

<p>The private scholarships are nice little bonuses, if you can get them, but planning on using them to pay for college is like buying lottery tickets to finance your retirement.</p>

<p>I agree, Megmno. If I count the hours that my sons, and, yes, I spent on the danged outside scholarships, and what they got in total, we didn't even get close to minimum wage. We would have all done better working at McDonald's the time we spent on those scholarship apps.</p>

<p>Well I suppose it is in some way comforting (although incredibly disturbing) to hear that many others are in similar situations. I'm in the top 25% of the college's stats and am in the honor's program. However, the departments only offer departmental scholarships once you have matriculated, which is sophomore year. It's basically either the full ride plus scholarship (only, lots of other states compete too) or nothing until soph.</p>

<p>I may even be a minority next year (female in chemical engineering).</p>

<p>Thanks for helping me see that I was indeed wasting my time...I won't apply for any more through those sites.</p>

<p>My son applied but didn't get any in college, and won 500.00 in high school. My daughter was tenacious and applied to a lot of local ones, leaving the larger ones alone for the most part. Her GC would tell her of any he received. One she received recently was 1500.00! It was a women's league and they said only about 20 applied and they had 2 winners....I can only think it is lack of advertising or lack of GC's to tell students about it. There might be a laziness in students to some degree (another essay!) but I think it's mainly communication. She found it frustrating, but for her, it worked out. He sister applied to different ones and didn't fair as well.
It's not something you can count on but I have found in our circle of friends, smaller scholarships are easier to get and asking your department in college of any opportunities. My son although he didn't get any, got emails sent to him about any that might apply to his major.</p>

<p>My daughter also reviewed many scholarships and was discouraged to find that so many were for students with "need" only. She did find some merit based scholarships and won four for a total of $15,500 for freshman year. She was very fortunate, she won the Coca Cola Scholarship which accounts for $10,000 of the total.</p>

<p>I just hope that the rising seniors look at this thread and realize that the chances of getting much from outside scholarships is a bit like winning the lottery...something that can't be counted on. Outside scholarships tend to be small and for only one year...so what's a person supposed to do for years 2, 3, & 4 if the money is needed to pay for school?</p>

<p>I realize that the OP didn't count on outside scholarships to pay for his education, but some kids do. Last January, we had several kids post that they applied ED to their dream schools and didn't apply for aid because they thought it would better their chances. So, then after they got accepted, they were looking for outside scholarships to pay for their education. Ugh!</p>

<p>On another thread, a dad tried to use the one rare example of a student he knew that got a big outside scholarship as encouragement for a student whose high income parents won't pay for college (the student is a rising senior). I was trying to steer the student towards merit scholarships and this (naive) parent was giving false hope that outside scholarships could somehow pay for 4 years at a top privates. LOL Of course the dad didn't provide the unique circumstances that the student won a big outside scholarship - perhaps low income, parent works for a certain company, URM, or some other circumstance that eliminates others from consideration.</p>

<p>I agree with everyone about how difficult it is to get these private scholarships. Congrats to your daughter, texasmom; the Coca-cola scholarship is a great one to win, but also extremely difficult to win. After we went through the process, I would only encourage students to apply for them to help pay expenses and to count on them for exactly 0. The other complication--as I see it--is that many of the scholarships do not notify you until after May 1, so you cannot count on that money for planning your first year. Many high schools hold the announcements for local money for their awards ceremonies.</p>

<p>After applying for about three or four, it became clear to my daughter that she did not want to have to worry about those applications year after year. She didn't win any local scholarships. Most of the competitions did not acknowledge her application and the one reject letter she got started out with something like, "We can't all be winners." I was so miffed at how offensive the letter was, I wanted to close all of our accounts (I did calm down). Then when I saw the "winners" in the paper--nice kids, but kids whose stats I knew, I got miffed again. DD took one of the university scholarships that mom2collegekids talked about, so she doesn't have to worry about $$ for undergrad school, and we are all happy about that.</p>

<p>I do not think all scholarships indicate that they are need based, when in fact they are. For example, people selecting students for a scholarship for military kids knows that a colonel makes way more than a sergeant (and I am happy for the kids with lower-ranking parents to get more help), and a scholarship given by your local bank or credit union knows how much money you have in there. The scholarship committees could save us all a bunch of time if they would clarify things.</p>

<p>And Beta_fist--to help out, get a nice summer job and help with your expenses. Your parents are happy to be able to send you to college.</p>

<p>On the other hand, don't buy into the people who tell you that being URM will help you win lots of scholarships. It helps to have a hook, but I'd say it doesnt make youy a whole lot more likely to win outside scholarships. I applied to about fifteen outside scholarships this year and got zip, despite being both African American and low-income (and if I don't say so myself, not a half bad applicant).</p>

<p>^^^</p>

<p>True... I think the point was that some scholarships are URM specific. But, as you've found out, you might have 1000 URMs applying and 999 get rejected.</p>

<p>This is a sad and difficult reality that too many students (those without the kind of parents posting on this site) remain ignorant of until it's too late. I am always shocked to hear a student tell me in May that they "haven't heard yet" from scholarships they applied for but really need to find something because money is coming due at the university, or their newly rented apartment. The hype surrounding scholarships is so misleading!</p>

<p>Students need to know that their surest avenue to college dollars lies in raising their test scores, getting good grades and applying to schools that will reward them for that.</p>

<p>Thank you OP for posting your experience, and all the others who have added their tales to the list, because revealing this failure in the system may help others to focus on the possible rather than gambling on the heavily advertised but improbable.</p>

<p>Right, I think more students need to realize that most of those websites are in a way a scam. Not that they're stealing anything from you, but you just have such a slight chance of winning based on pure chance it's not worth the time. </p>

<p>I was just informed that I did get the Byrd scholarship, but that is of a different origin than the online ones. If I were beginning my scholarship search over again, I would pay more attention to the local ones that you can actually see the applicant pool, rather than the "write an essay about the american dream" type ones.</p>

<p>this is true, only the poor get scholarship money.</p>

<p>Do NOT use fastweb. It's just a bunch of hand-me-down limited offers that advertisers give to fastweb. In reality fastweb is being paid for you giving out your personal information. No one i know has ever won so much as a dime from fastweb. </p>

<p>There were classes in my school that set aside entire periods to just do fastweb offers. They did this for one whole year, and not a single student won anything</p>

<p>FASTWEB IS A SCAM DONT WASTE YOUR TIME</p>

<p>What makes fastweb even worse is that it is highly recommended by people I went to talk with about scholarships...aka my guidance counselor.</p>

<p>Sally and Beta, Fastweb is not a scam. It is probably the most thorough and legitimate of all scholarship information shops. You do have to sort through the stuff very carefully.</p>

<p>The fact of the matter is that the chances of getting big scholarships are small. Most of the larger awards are from the schools themselves. But there are some awards out there, and some kids do get those awards each year. But it's like a lottery in many ways. But if you can find a niche of awards where you qualify and there are not that many in that category, you can up your odds. I have seen kids get some nice awards. We just were not among those that hit such jackpots, but honestly, my kids stats are not way up there. I would expect those who get nice awards are top drawer. I feel we were lucky to get what we did.</p>