Paying for College the Cost of College icon

Traditionally speaking, school starts in late August or early September, but with colleges these days, students are starting almost any time.

For students who are preparing for next semester at college or for those high school seniors looking to be in college within the next year, the writing on the wall is: Apply Early and Often.

As an example of a California high school who advocates doing exactly that, the Poway Unified School District was awarded a total of $13.7 million in scholarships this year, and the graduates from Westview High School were awarded $7 million of that. The graduating class was only 527 students strong.

With the cost of college rising every year, students need to pay more attention to getting those college scholarship applications filled out. It is getting to the point where very few students can get through college without some type of student loan of financial support, and without any scholarships, it is money that needs to be paid back, and will put a severe dent in the family finances or the student’s budget after graduation, even with tremendously attractive interest rates on federal student loans.

According to various studies, the cost of average tuition and associated fees increased approximately 6% over the past year.

Currently, that means that the average annual cost (that means every year) is almost $13,000 for students who are enrolled at four year public colleges, and over $22,000 for the equivalent four year private colleges.

By comparison, the cost of attending a college like Stanford or Harvard is almost $50,000 per year.

The number and variety of scholarships available today is almost staggering. But even more staggering is the fact that across the country, a good number of scholarships actually go unawarded each year, simply because nobody applied for them!

There are several options for those in financial need, which include the federal Pell Grants, but many universities, corporations and various organizations also offer merit or academic based scholarships. The amount of each scholarship varies widely also, such as $150 scholarship from the local bicycle shop to a $10,000 scholarship from a corporation such as Nordstrom’s or Macy’s.

Some students think that they should only apply for the big-ticket scholarships, but that is simply untrue. Any student can apply for and be awarded many scholarships. If a student is awarded 10 $500 scholarships, is that any worse than being awarded a single $5000 scholarship? No, it is almost exactly the same.

Last year, a Florida high school senior spent almost every waking hour over the course of two months completing scholarship forms for any scholarship he could find and meet the eligibility requirements for. By the time he started college that fall, he had been awarded over 36 different scholarships, which covered more than 90% of his total college costs, including tuition, books, and housing.

It is important to note that not all scholarships require you to have a financial need or an exceptionally high grade point average. While it is certainly important to read the eligibility requirements before completing the application, there are many scholarships available to just about anyone.

The bottom line is to apply early and often! Fill out as many college scholarship applications as you can find, and when you’ve done that, find some more. The cost of college is certainly not decreasing, and you will need the financial help, and hopefully be able to graduate from college being debt-free! For more insights and additional information on College Scholarships please visit our web site at http://www.finding-college-scholarships.com

About the Author

Jon Arnold is a computer engineer that maintains many web sites on a variety of topics, listed at http://www.jag-info-resources.com Jon Arnold may be contacted at or jonarnold228@gmail.com

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