MarieM

The applications are in, the waiting begins

The holidays are over, the college applications have been submitted, now we are done, right?  NO!  January means a new season, financial aid/scholarship season.  Many colleges will award merit money in their acceptance letters.  Others will have scholarships specific to the school and applications can be found at the college's website under financial aid.  But there is still tons of scholarship money out there waiting to be claimed.  How do we find it?

First of all, as soon as possible after January 1, families that will have children in college the following school year should begin filling out the FAFSA form (www.fafsa.ed.gov).  FAFSA stands for free application for federal student aid.  Even if you don't think you will qualify for financial aid, many scholarships will be tied to this form.  It is important to do this early as there are limited funds and it is first come, first serve.  It is also the way students qualify for work study (jobs on campus). 

The next thing Oregon students should do is start filling out the OSAC form.  OSAC stands for Oregon Student Assistance Commission and is a search engine for scholarships specifically for Oregon students.  You don't have to be attending college in Oregon to apply.  The website for this is www.getcollegefunds.org.

Most high schools have a list of scholarships that students can apply for and is hopefully updated regularly.  Students should check their highschool website, neighboring school's websites, employers, student clubs and professional organizations.  Additionally, there are a number of scholarship databases and they are free.  Let's use the internet productively, not for social networking!  Here are a few I recommend:

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