Financial need scholarships are awarded on the basis of the ability of the family to pay for a student's post-secondary education. Most of the agencies granting such aid request information about the financial needs of each applicant's family. You should complete the appropriate financial aid forms required by the colleges considered.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA form) must be completed to apply for federal and state student grants, work-study, and loans. This application is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Parents can complete this starting on October 1st of the student's senior year, and it is strongly encouraged to do this as early as possible.
Competitive scholarships include those awarded for special skills in such areas as athletics, music and art, as well as those awarded for academic accomplishments and ability. Several steps that will help in locating and/or qualifying for such scholarships follow:
As a junior, take the PSAT/NMSQT to compete for the National Merit Scholarships.
Contact the financial aid office of each college in which you are interested and ask for information on competitive scholarships.
Browse through scholarship reference books and online scholarship programs.
Contact the personnel office of parents' employers and ask if scholarships are available.
Contact your pastor for information concerning church-sponsored scholarships.
Listen to public address announcements for information regarding local scholarships. Listings are also posted online and in the guidance office. Many scholarship applications are located in the guidance office.
A lack of money should not stop you from attending the school of your choice. Financial assistance is available from many sources. Your counselor has brochures available to explain the financial aid process. Take advantage of the "Financial Aid Night" hosted each year by the counselors at Cedar Cliff and Red Land High Schools.
Also, remember that colleges have financial aid officers whose job is to help those who want to attend their schools. These officers can furnish information about costs, assistance available, application procedures and deadlines, as well as other related matters.