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It can be stressful going through the college application process and figuring out how to fund this education, whether you are a high school student applying or a parent supporting the process.
Even the thought of looking for scholarships or figuring out how much you can earn on a work-study basis can be daunting. And it doesn’t help that all the news about the cost of college education is depressing, from the brewing debate over student loan cancellation to the fact that the total national student loan debt has hit $ 1.5 trillion. at the end of 2020.
However, funding your college education can be made easier if you know where to look for scholarships and how to seek help from the federal government.
The College Board found that the average cost of tuition and fees at a public university was $ 10,560 per year in 2020. However, most students do not pay the full amount to attend college: The College Board also found that students at public universities, on average, spent $ 3,230 per year on tuition and fees through grants.
College is expensive, but there are a plethora of for-profit and non-profit organizations that give free money to help students cover the costs – you just need to know where to look. Below, Select highlights four websites that provide resources for college applications and help students find college scholarships.
While these websites are useful, many of the scholarships listed are competitive. Students should therefore also research local scholarships, complete their FAFSA, appeal on their pre-existing financial aid, and seek federal student loans.
Going Merry was first created by Raymond Murthi and Charlie Maynard. Ray saw a gap in the market when he helped his girlfriend apply for scholarships for her masters program. Charlie faced similar issues during his undergraduate and masters program. Together, they were inspired to create an online service that not only aggregates scholarships, but also allows users to apply for them directly through the website.
Rather than filling out multiple scholarship forms, high school students can create a profile by entering basic information about them. Once their profile is established, they can apply for multiple scholarships through Going Merry. Users can change the information for each application and may need to answer different questions depending on the application.
Going Merry will use your profile information to recommend scholarships. Users can also use the search feature to filter scholarships by categories such as number of recipients, deadline, and competitiveness.
Fastweb (Financial Aid Search Through the Web) is the OG scholarship research website. Founded in 1995 by Canadian businessman and entrepreneur Larry Organ, it has over 1.5 million scholarships. Its team of researchers decide which scholarship opportunities are published and make sure they are not scams. None of the scholarship applications are chargeable and none require you to enter personal information.
Students can create a profile and Fastweb will recommend scholarships based on the information provided. There is also a database of scholarships organized by type of student, whether you are black, bilingual, veteran, etc.
Whenever you apply for a scholarship through FastWeb, you will be redirected to the specific scholarship website where you can apply. Unlike Going Merry, you will need to enter the same information multiple times in order to apply for different scholarships.
Cappex is a website that connects students with potential scholarships and also helps them discover and learn about different colleges.
Cappex, like Fastweb and Going Merry, will recommend students to apply based on their profile. It also has a comprehensive college database with information on a college’s average net price, acceptance rate, application deadlines, and post-graduation statistics to help you choose the college. that suits you best.
The website makes a point of educating students about the college process. It contains quizzes that help students understand academic specializations that might interest them and explanatory articles on specific majors.
For example, the social work majors article details the type of courses you might take in college and entry-level salary information.
The scholarship search feature allows students to search by different factors such as ethnicity, first generation status, and award amount.
Fair opportunity project
The Fair Opportunity Project was founded in 2016 by Harvard juniors Luke Heine and Cole Scanlon. They created the organization with the intention of helping high school students from all socioeconomic backgrounds access college application resources.
The Fair Opportunity Project works a little differently from other sites because it doesn’t match students with scholarships.
Instead, it offers a comprehensive 70-page guide for high school students that includes information on letters of recommendation, how to compile a college list, and examples of college essays that have worked.
The Fair Opportunity Project also offers a free mentoring program. Mentors are volunteers who are either current students or recent graduates. This program runs from the spring semester of the student’s junior year to the fall semester of the senior year (with a summer break).
High school students are matched with a mentor, who is from their community, and have 10 to 12 sessions with them during the application process. During these sessions, students can talk about the financial aid process, write and review essays, and decide on a list of colleges. The project has helped over 500 students, and they have over 50 active mentors.
The Fair Opportunity Project also offers free registration desk hours every Friday and Saturday so that students who are not enrolled in the mentoring program can register to ask questions of a mentor.
Editorial note: Any opinions, analysis, criticism or recommendations expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.