Avoiding Debt in College

Gizela Kwihangana

College is not cheap nor is it going to pay itself, but before stressing and panicking, remember that there are scholarships.
Scholarships are defined as a sum of money or other aid granted to a student, because of merit, need, etc., to pursue desired studies.
Anybody has the potential of going to college for free or at a reduced price. The trick to get this treat is to know which kind of scholarships one might qualify for and when that scholarship’s deadline is.
Financial problems seem to be one of the leading setbacks when it comes to pursuing success. That is why scholarships and other aides were put in place to help students access a college education.
There are all types of scholarships, from high quality to simple requirements. A small amount of financial donation is still money, so under looking small money is one mistake.
Remember, huge scholarships are not only from big organizations, but the biggest scholarships tend to come from the colleges themselves.
When it comes to scholarships, they can be national, local, cultural, academic, athletic, or for being particularly talents.
A merit scholarship is provided to students who show a high level of achievement in specific areas, such as academics, athletics, or the arts. Academic scholarships are scholarships awarded based on your grades and test scores.
2018 Benson graduate Blake Zellmer was given the Buffett, Goodrich, Regents, and OEA scholarship.
“I always asked the teachers what was needed so I could do my bests on assignments and tests,” Zellmer said.
Colleges typically look at applicants ACT scores, which puts a lot of pressure on students taking the ACT during their junior year.
“I took general tips such as guessing if needed, watching the time, and marking a question I didn’t know,” Zellmer said. “I also looked up a few math equations before taking the test and tried to remember them.”
Zellmer took the ACT a total of three times to achieve the score that qualified him for the Regents scholarship.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (known as the FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid. The FAFSA is crucial for college financial assistance.
Some scholarships are acceptable to specific colleges and some can be mashed up with other financial support, or even be used to pay certain cost.
The most important step to take before applying for scholarships is doing research and being prepared ahead of time.
Preparation usually starts with writing a personal essay, a goal orientation essay, an accomplishments essay, and community involvement essay.
“Make sure to be pitiful or explain your story and passion the best you can when you apply,” Zellmer said.
The next step from there is gathering educational background, family, testing, and community service hours information.
The research part of scholarships is finding scholarships that meets the qualifications and standards. Finding scholarships could be done online or by using the scholarship handbook for 2018-2019, which can be obtained from the counselor’s office.
Finally, start the applying process. The applying part will either defeat or motivate; it’s all in the matters of the individual’s mentality.
With so many scholarships to choose from, some seniors will stress themselves out by trying to apply for all of them.
“Just find a couple of colleges you want to attend, apply for full rides there,” Zellmer said. “Plan out the deadlines and remember that the counselors are there to help.”
Ask for recommendations from people that can write a trusted, well thought-out recommendation ahead of time. Make sure to plan letters of recommendations early enough for the writers to compose their thoughts and have a chance to put effort into it.
Senior year is stressful enough with trying to overcome senioritis, keep up with grades, and trying to figure out with career sounds the best to study. Get a head start on scholarships and don’t take free time for granted.