Seven Ways To Help Your Teenager Find College Scholarships

By: Paul Temcio

Higher education is the norm. It used to be an accomplishment to have a bachelor’s degree but now an MBA is standard on many resumes. The problem that so many families are facing though, is that college has become more expensive than most “normal” and hard working families can afford. If you were able to create a college fund for your child while they were growing up, you are both smart and rare. With the majority of families living paycheck to paycheck and taking hits from real life problems like car repairs, medical bills and more, families are getting by but rarely have enough to save for the future, let alone for each child to attend college without taking out a loan. College tuition is absolutely a burden to a growing number of students and their families. Sometimes scholarships can be a way to supplement college tuition. There are many scholarships out there you just need to find them. It can take a lot of time and a lot of work, but if all that pays off, it could be worth your effort! 

1. Check with Local Churches

Check with the local churches. Yes, churches have a wealth of scholarship information and not just your church. You just have to do your homework. Do not be shy about going to a church website and looking into their educational scholarships, book scholarships and even housing scholarships. Trust me on this and every little bit helps.

2. Buy Books That Have Done the Legwork

Buy the books that have done the legwork and research for you in finding the college scholarships that you might never know about! It is truly worth it and will pay for itself in the long run. The Ultimate Scholarship Book is a good one as well as Peterson’s Scholarships, Grants & Prizes. These books are highly organized with information broken down by state, need, parent’s income etc. Take the time to search well and find the ones that might work for you. 

3. Access Your School Counselor 

Check with your high school counselor. Yes, this still works. Set up a formal appointment with the counselor letting them know that you are interested in finding out more about scholarship information. This will give them time to prepare, get information that is specific to your child, and hopefully give you an advantage worth pursuing.

4. Contact Potential Colleges

Check with their future colleges. Yes, there prospective college is a great resource as well. Reach out to the financial aid office and prospective dean as well as any sports, arts and specific academic programs with your teenager to see how they can assist you. Have your teenager send an email of introduction and desire to all parties and cc you. You just may be surprised at the reply. It is all about building relationships. For example, if you create a relationship with a coach at a sport you excel at, or with a department that you stand out in (like history, band, art or math) they might find money in their budgets to help you to attend their school. 

5. Check with Family Member’s Employers

Check with your job, your spouse’s and your teen’s job. There may be tuition reimbursement plans that you are unaware of at any of your family’s employers. Contact your HR department to get the info that you need. A lot of teenagers get scholarship or reimbursement money from their job so it is also worth researching jobs that offer this benefit and having your teen get employment specifically for the huge educational resources. Make sure you are using all that is available to you.

6. Utilize Online Resources 

Search online. Yes, it is an obvious tip but Google is definitely your friend when looking for scholarships. Here are a few list to start with:  Student Scholarships (.org)  and Scholarships Grans US . 

7. Hidden Scholarships from Generous Benefactors

There are many generous people who have set up scholarships for people in situations that have touched them in some way. You can often find these types of opportunities that fit your particular circumstance. For example there are scholarships for teenagers whose parent is fighting cancer and their are scholarships for those who are homeless or have been homeless. Google and contact organizations that have something in common with a life issue that you are dealing with and find some hidden opportunities! 

Again, there are many scholarships available to teenagers who want and need them. It is not a sure fire solution to affording college but is absolutely a great shot at supplementing the costs of college. You and your teen just need to put in research and time to discover them. It can take a lot of time and effort but when you and your teen are working together to find opportunities, you have a great chance of being rewarded with a higher education! 

Do you have any tips for people who are looking for scholarships?