Archive for the ‘Scholarships and Financial Aid’ Category
Tis the season to apply for scholarships!
Many students have very full plates this time of year, and I’m not just talking about food! They’re juggling everything from college applications and finals to holiday shopping and gatherings. If you are one of these students, don’t let this busy season get the better of your scholarship search. There are a lot of scholarships expiring in December. Set aside some time to apply for some of these great opportunities and you just might get the amazing gift of money for college!
Deadline: December 7 Award: $1,000 – $15,000
Requirements: High school senior
Deadline: December 15 Award: $1,000 – $5,000
Requirements: high school senior or college student, Hispanic heritage, 3.0 GPA
Deadline: December 15 Award: $250 – $1,250
Requirements: college student, 18 years of age or older
Deadline: December 15 Award: $5,000
Requirements: high school senior or college freshman, 25 years of age or younger
Deadline: December 15 Award: $500
Requirements: between the ages of 15 and 24
Deadline: December 15 Award: $500 – $10,000
Requirements: join ScholarshipPoints.com for free
Deadline: December 20 Award: $1,000 – $5,000
Requirements: high school senior, 21 years of age or younger, 2.7 GPA, live in a RMHC Chapter geographic area
Deadline: December 31 Award: $100 – $500
Requirements: high school student
Deadline: December 31 Award: $2,500 – $100,000
Requirements: between the ages of 18 and 24
Deadline: December 31 Award: $2,500
Requirements: high school senior, 3.0 GPA, financial need, learning disability
Deadline: December 31 Award: $3,000
Requirements: high school senior, college freshman, or college sophomore
Deadline: December 31 Award: $5,000
Requirements: college student, pursuing a career in the medical field
Cappex also offers a whole bunch of scholarships with December 31 deadlines, so make sure your Cappex profile is updated and apply for as many of them as you can before the end of the month! If you don’t have a Cappex account yet, don’t worry – it’s super easy. Click here to get started for free.
We’re coming in fast toward the end of October. Where did the time go?! Don’t let time get the better of you during your scholarship search. Take a look at the following scholarships that are expiring next month and get working on those applications. Good luck!
Voice of Democracy Scholarship Program from the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
Deadline: November 1
Award: $1,000 – $30,000
Applicants must submit an essay and a recording on a topic related to the U.S. Constitution.
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards from Prudential Financial
Deadline: November 6
Award: $1,000 – $5,000
Applicants must have made a difference through volunteering over the past year.
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum Student Essay Contest & Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum Student Video Contest from the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
Deadline: November 9
Award: $50 – $100
Applicants must submit an essay or a video that expresses their thoughts about speaking up against violence, doing the right thing, and making a difference.
First Freedom Student Competition from the First Freedom Center
Deadline: November 12
Applicants must submit an essay or video production that examines the history and current-day relevance of religious freedom.
Intel Science Talent Search from the Society for Science & the Public
Deadline: November 14
Award: $1,000 – $100,000
Applicants must present a full scientific report about research of their choosing.
PBA/NCA Sally Beauty Scholarship from the Professional Beauty Association and the National Cosmetology Association
Deadline: November 15
Applicants must plan to enter the cosmetology profession.
James Alan Cox Foundation Scholarship from the James Alan Cox Foundation for Student Journalists
Deadline: November 15
Applicants must be student photographers.
American Association on Health and Disability Scholarship from the American Association on Health and Disability
Deadline: November 15
Applicants must have a documented disability.
Scholarship Slam from Power Poetry
Deadline: November 19
Applicants must enjoy writing poetry and have a passion for advocacy.
Young Patriots Essay Contest from the National Center for Policy Analysis
Deadline: November 23
Award: $2,000 – $5,000
Applicants must submit an essay on a topic related to government.
FIRE’s Freedom in Academia Essay Contest Scholarships from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
Deadline: November 25
Award: $500 – $10,000
Applicants must submit an essay on a topic related to free speech.
Samsung Superhero Competition from Samsung Techwin America
Deadline: November 30
Applicants must portray a historical character in a digital video.
Cappex has thousands more scholarships that you could qualify for. Check them out today!
In case you hadn’t noticed, there is an important election happening this fall in the United States. Obama vs. Romney is in full swing and both parties are spouting their views on and plans for higher education. If you are a college student, or will be one soon, the election affects you and your education in a big way!
President Obama and Mitt Romney differ primarily on the role that the private sector – individuals or private groups – should play when it comes to education. A recent Chicago Tribune article outlines Obama’s opposition to and Romney’s advocacy for the private sector playing a large role in funding college tuition.
Private Colleges do not receive money from their state. Their tuition is usually higher because they operate with private funding.
For-Profit Colleges operate more like businesses. The tuition students pay helps the school operate and stay in business. Many of these schools endorse Mitt Romney.
Public Universities receive funding from state and federal governments.
- The President has criticized the higher education industry of failing to deliver on its promises to students; graduates are often left with debt and a degree that fails to help them find rewarding and beneficial employment.
- On a recent college town tour, President Obama declared that a college education “isn’t a luxury, it is an economic necessity that every family should be able to afford.”
- Believes for-profit colleges spur good competition.
- Federal grants and loans are too easily available and actually increase tuition costs.
- Romney’s goal is to strengthen and simplify the current financial aid system by offering students choices instead of determining stiff regulations.
- In June 2012, the current administration froze interest rates on federal student loans, saving each student about $1,000 per year.
- He would create an American Opportunity Tax Credit for students. Under this credit, the first $4,000 of college education would be free for most Americans. Community Colleges would cost nothing for most students to attend. Two thirds (66%) of the average public college or university tuition would be covered by this credit. It is unspecified what is meant by average in this scenario.
- The President also promises to better the opportunities available for college students with disabilities.
- The financial aid application process would be reduced to a simple check mark on a family’s tax form.
- Romney would repeal the freeze on federal student loan interest rates, asserting the need for educational reform over frozen rates.
- His running mate, Paul Ryan, has proposed a budget plan that cuts domestic spending, which includes education. This would also cut the number of students eligible for Pell Grants.
- Federal aid would continue to support private and for-profit colleges, and private banks would take over the federal student loan program.
- Romney would attempt to repeal a law that requires for-profit colleges to receive some funding from students paying full tuition, and not just from federal student loans.
Whether you require financial aid or use federal funding for your higher education, being informed about this year’s Presidential election is incredibly important. Find out about the issues and how they affect you and your family. If you’re 18 or older, get registered and vote your voice this November!
After researching, choosing, and applying for a scholarship, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself! Then, gear up to receive results and take the next step in your journey to college education. The good news? No matter what the results, Cappex is here to help.
- Check to see if there is a way to track the status of your application. There might be a timeline offered by the organization to track the application process.
- Find out how the organization will notify you with results. If it’s through email, be sure to check your email (and keep an eye on that pesky Spam folder) regularly. If it’s through the US Postal Service, be sure you don’t throw out any mail that might pertain to your scholarship.
- Don’t bank on one scholarship – continue researching your options to maximize your chances of earning college funds.
Results: The Good
- Congratulations! You’ve won a scholarship!
- If you don’t know already, find out how the funds will reach you. Will it be through a check or through your university? Make sure you know how and when the scholarship will be applied so you can track the transactions.
- You basically have a first draft of a college essay written. Cool! Use it on your college applications when it is relevant.
- Start budgeting and planning how you can use your funding most effectively. If the scholarship can be applied anywhere, decide what works best for you financially.
- Try to calculate what you will still owe after using your scholarship money. Then, apply for more scholarships!
Results: The Bad
- Don’t freak out if you didn’t win the first few scholarships for which you applied. This is totally normal – you’re not going to win them all.
- Keep looking. Keep digging. Keep asking and researching opportunities. Talk to your guidance counselor if you are having trouble. They may have some secret weapons and places to look.
- Ask the organization that denied your application for notes on why you were not accepted. They might be able to offer good advice on your writing skills. It also might be reassuring to know that they just had too many applicants this year and it was only a matter of numbers.
- Don’t give up! Try filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) if you have not already.
The most important thing to remember is that time spent on scholarships is time well spent. They are terrific opportunities with many benefits. You gain experience and the good feeling of working hard towards something special – your college years!
[Note: This is part two of a three part series on How to Get a Scholarship. To read part one, visit Research and Planning.]
Scholarships are excellent tools for helping students pay for their education. Students can be rewarded with a scholarship for everything from their academic performance to their artistic ability. However, with all of the options available today, it is not always obvious which scholarships to choose or how to submit an application. The good news? Cappex is here to help you find the right scholarship opportunities for you.
- It’s important to research many different scholarships. You probably will not find a perfect fit on your first try, nor find one scholarship that can cover everything.
- Consider your financial need. If to this point, you are completely without any funding for school, choose a scholarship that gives you as much monetary help as possible. You may be able to find one that offers funding each year, instead of all at once.
- Consider your time frame. If the deadline is one week away, make sure you have enough time to complete the application and do a good job. If you don’t think you can, check to see if the scholarship is offered every year. You might be able to apply the next year, giving yourself more preparation time.
- Consider whom the scholarship targets. Choose only those scholarships that actually pertain to you. If you’re considering a scholarship for student musicians, do not try to fake a musical interest or talent. Choose one with criteria you meet – if you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. It’s out there!
- Consider your competition. If this is a national scholarship, you know you’ll have to stand out among thousands of other students. If this is a private business or a local organization offering funding to a specific group, you may have a greater chance of earning that scholarship money.
- Consider the source. Make sure the organization offering the scholarship is legitimate and follows through. If it looks questionable, try to contact someone who can give you real answers and send you physical information on how you will receive funding. Make sure you know how to avoid scholarship scams.
- Bottom line? If you find a scholarship opportunity that immediately excites you, do it! Anything that gets you pumped up about education is a good thing. Trust your instincts.
- It may sound silly, but be sure to fill out the application completely! If you are lacking a component or have incorrect information listed, you run a great risk of being tossed out before even being considered.
- Don’t complete the application in one sitting, especially for those scholarships that ask for an essay. Create drafts, edit your work, and have someone else you trust look over your application and give you feedback.
- To make the application process easier, keep a master list of all of your credentials and accomplishments. Use this as a reference when applying to each scholarship!
- Be thorough and use concrete examples in your essay. Generalizing will not help you stand out!
Scholarships are becoming an increasingly crucial way for students from all walks of life to pay for their schooling. Scholarships open up doors and provide opportunities for college education that would otherwise remain out of reach. The hardest part? Getting started and finding the best scholarships for you! The good news? Cappex is here to help you find them.
First and foremost, don’t assume that you won’t qualify for scholarships! They are not just awarded for perfect grades or financial need, although those are certainly great reasons to apply for funding. Don’t give up before you’ve researched your options.
- Scholarships exist everywhere, even in unlikely places.
- Check with local businesses – often they have programs or small scholarships available to students planning to go into business or marketing.
- Churches, synagogues, and other places of worship may offer scholarships to students going into religious studies or those that have completed volunteer work.
- Look into opportunities at the schools to which you are applying. Sometimes scholarships are offered after a student has performed well for several semesters.
- Word of mouth can be a great tool. Let friends and family know you are on the lookout for scholarships. They may know of ones you’d be interested in or have advice where to look.
- Check out these cool essay contests.
- Take the PSAT (Practice SAT)! You can opt to have your scores sent to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which sponsors the PSAT. They offer scholarships to students with excellent scores. Plus, its great practice for the real SAT.
- Visit Cappex for scholarships that align with your interests or major. There is funding available for everything from the arts to engineering!
- Clear up scholarship myths and misconceptions by checking out these Scholarship Myths Debunked.
- Start early. Give yourself enough time to research, apply, and try again if for some reason your first few attempts are unsuccessful.
- Apply to more than one! Don’t be afraid of utilizing multiple scholarships to pay for your education. Just make sure that they don’t interfere with any Federal Aid you are receiving.
- Scholarships have deadlines. Again, the earlier you begin searching for the scholarship that is right for you, the better your chances are of completing the application on time.
- The PSAT has a sign-up deadline, too! Sign up early in the school year to take it when your high school offers it. Usually, the PSAT is offered in October.
- Set aside a small amount of time each day to do one thing on your scholarship To-Do List. Whether this is “Find One New Scholarship” or “Write INTRO to Scholarship Essay,” make time to do it. Small steps lead you to your big goals.
In between trips to the store to stock up on school essentials, don’t forget to take some time to keep up with your scholarship search! You can find any number of scholarships to apply for at any given time of year, and September is no exception. We’ve scoured our ginormous database and found these five scholarships with September deadlines. That gives you at least a month to get your application submitted – and that’s a good thing, because each of these scholarships requires an essay. So step away from the shopping cart, whip out your thinking cap, and get started on those essays!
1. “Fuel Your Dreams” Scholarship Competition
Deadline: September 4 Award: $1,000
This scholarship is administered by 24Seven Energy. For the essay, they want to know about your big dreams and how their scholarship would help you achieve them. They ask that you keep the essay brief: 250 words or less. Two scholarships will be awarded; however, the competition for this one is pretty steep, so make sure that little essay packs a big punch.
2. Ayn Rand “Atlas Shrugged” Essay Contest
Deadline: September 17 Award: $50 – $10,000
For this one, you’ll probably have to take a trip to the library or a virtual trip to Amazon.com to obtain a copy of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This contest is administered by the Ayn Rand Institute, and they want you to read the aforementioned book and choose from a list of topics from their website to write an essay on. Yes, this requires a bit more work than usual, but the payoff is huge: the first-place prize is $10,000!
3. “Why My School Rocks” Contest
Deadline: September 17 Award: $300 – $800
This contest is administered by EnergizeStudents.org. For this contest, you need to write an essay about why your school is so great. Specifically, you must choose a main issue from a list of topics and then tell a real-life story about a successful program that was implemented in your school to help deal with that issue.
4. CoffeeForLess.com “Hit the Books” Scholarship
Deadline: September 30 Award: $500
CoffeeForLess.com administers this scholarship twice a year. To apply, you have to submit an essay about the importance of education in your life and how the scholarship would assist your goals. Love coffee? Get bonus points if you can find a creative way to incorporate your passion for coffee into your essay without losing sight of the primary topic.
5. Odenza Marketing Group Scholarship
Deadline: September 30 Award: $500
This scholarship is also awarded twice a year. To apply, you’re required to submit two essays, each one no longer than 500 words. For the first essay, you must choose a city anywhere in the world that you think would benefit your future career, and explain why you think so. For the second essay, you simply need to explain why you think you deserve the scholarship. Be sure to follow the instructions on the application page for how they want your essays to be constructed.
Want more? Cappex has thousands and thousands of scholarships in our database to help you realize your educational dreams.
Many students who have applied for financial aid from their college have had great difficulty deciphering their acceptance letters. This has less to do with a student’s understanding of their financial aid package, and more to do with inconsistent terms and jumbled mathematics used by institutions in their letters.
Good news! Financial aid letters are new and improved! They are officially on their way to becoming easy to read and understand. According to The Chronicle, the Obama administration has released what they are calling the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet. This Shopping Sheet is a model acceptance letter for students receiving financial aid. The standardized information that will appear in the letter includes:
- Total net cost of education
- Median federal aid among all students at the institution
- Average monthly payments for this median amount
- The school’s loan-default rates
- The school’s graduation rates
- Any available grants, loans, or other financial aid options
Unfortunately, schools are not required to use the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet — yet. It is currently a voluntary letter template. There is a great deal of discussion as to whether or not schools should have to use this template. Some argue that each college should be able to design their own letter. Other schools, like Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, plan on utilizing the Shopping Sheet already this year.
U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, sheds some light on the future of the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet. He says that it is his hope and expectation that many schools will follow the footsteps of Mount Holyoke. If there are schools that refuse to be clear and upfront about the cost of tuition with their students, what else might they have trouble communicating? It will speak well of schools to follow suit and present their students with concise information and financial aid options.
If you would like to keep up with this story, follow the actions of Senator Al Franken of Minnesota (@alfranken). He has introduced a bill to Congress that would make the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet mandatory for all colleges and universities. His bill is titled Understanding the True Cost of College Act.
What do you think? Should all schools be required to send the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet to their applicants?
Do you have an experience with a jumbled acceptance letter or a deciphering success story? Share it here!
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