Merit aid scholarships – NACAC

There was a discussion on NACAC about Merit aid scholarships, here’s the original message and wrap-up:

Dear Colleagues,

Thanks for your responses to my request for Merit aid scholarships. I got some great suggestions and a lot of requests to post results. I am happy to share these with you all. Here is the original email:

Dear colleagues and people from the college side,

At the recent WACAC conference at LMU, I attended the session entitled Seeking Out College Merit Aid and Tips for Winning Private Scholarships and got some helpful information. Judging by the size of the audience at this session,I realized that many of us are in a similar position where we have excellent scholars whose parents do not qualify for significant financial aid packets due to the family earned income. The majority of the students in this middle group whose parents are not able to commit to expensive Ivy League schools or other very expensive colleges, find that their choices of schools are limited unless they want to take out huge loans.

Coming from a German International School where the parents have the option of sending their students back to Germany for a relatively free education, I am increasingly losing some of my very best students because the parents cannot afford the tuition costs, especially when there are younger siblings who will soon be in the same situation.My question is, can anyone out there recommend specific websites, books or other sources where merit based scholarships can be found. I have looked at MeritAid.com and have Gen and Kelly Tanabe’s Ultimate Scholarship Book 2011, and have found some good scholarships, but I feel there must be more available.

I would really appreciate any suggestions coming both from counselors and the admissions side.
Regards,

Jennifer Krejcik

And the resources:

You’ll find a few institutional scholarships listed at www.guaranteed-scholarships.com.  As scholarships are always changing, please confirm any scholarships you see listed.

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In addition to Merit Aid and the individual college websites, I google a lot and use terms such as foundation, scholarship(s), endowment, fellowship, honorarium, trust, etc. and combine them with terms like music, football, Swedish–whatever I can think of to zero in on some help.  It’s really tough!

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One other website is scholarships.com.  I haven’t looked at it for a while.  Of course, there is collegeboard, and do you know californiacollege.edu?

Its matching assistant is one of my favorites.

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At ScholarshipExperts.com (www.scholarshipexperts.com), we research primarily national & state scholarships, but we do also include the “guaranteed” merit aid from colleges across the country in our database.  Our scholarship matching service is free, and we usually hear that we are a bit less commercial and more accurate than other nationwide scholarship search services on the web. I hope you’ll let your students know about our time-saving website as they look for scholarship

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Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY has two merit scholarships that students can apply for on the Common Application Supplement:

Porter Scholarships in Math and Science

Filene Scholarships in Vocal or Instrumental Music

More info can be found on the Skidmore website.

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You mention MeritAid, but the thing about that site is that it doesn’t just seek out scholarships students can apply for … Their database includes institutional aid that students receive if they are admitted to a school.  The dollar signs on their site can be somewhat misleading because many of the funds students cannot simply “apply for”.

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I recommend working directly with a college to see what type of aid they award, as schools like Yale oftentimes have a sliding scale of need-based aid for high achievers with high need.  You should also encourage students to visit www.zinch.com/scholarships.  On Zinch a student can receive a scholarship, and have it matched dollar for dollar if they found the scholarship on the Zinch platform.

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College Scholarship Search Web Sites
           
www.thewashboard.org Supposedly the best web site for scholarships in the Northwest
www.scholarshipexperts.com Financial aid scholarship search. Best results.
www.collegeplan.org Pacific NW Scholarship Guide.  Local scholarship sources.
www.wiche.edu/sep/wue Western Undergraduate Exchange – WA residents pays 1.5x tuition
www.srnexpress.com Scholarship Resource Network Express for private scholarships
www.discovernursing.com Links to nursing scholarships
www.gmsp.org Gates Millennium Scholarship Program
www.americorps.org AmeriCorps national service program. Tuition assistance.
www.nela.net NW Education Loan Assoc, great source for scholarships,etc.
www.collegeboard.com Selects colleges, fin aid info and scholarships and more
www.finaid.org Everything there is to know about financial aid
www.wiredscholar.com Selects colleges, fin aid, scholarship search and more.
www.petersons.com Selects colleges, fin aid info and scholarships
www.kaplan.com Selects colleges, fin aid info and scholarships, testing
www.scholarshipcoach.com Scholarship search strategy assistance.  Ben Kaplan advisor.
www.brokescholar.com Scholarship search
www.clubscholarship.com Scholarship search
www.collegenet.com Scholarship search
www.collegequest.com Scholarship search
www.colleges.com Scholarship search
www.fastweb.com Scholarship search
www.scholarships.com Scholarship search
Additional information and sources of outside scholarships
Your high school guidance counselor’s office
Other high schools in your area guidance offices (they should allow you to look)
Parent’s employers
Professional Associations (such as medical, legal, engineering, accounting, etc)
Community organizations such as Lions, Kiwanis, PTA, Church groups,YMCA, Chamber
Visit local library for scholarship search guides
Write to associations directly to ask if they offer financial assistance to students
Most scholarships have deadlines by October, by March 15th 75% of deadlines have passed
Many scholarships are for students already in college, not just for high school students
Look on the college’s web site for special scholarships that need applications.
Some scholarships are available to students before their senior year
Apply for at least 12 scholarships and pay attention to small, local awards
Read Go to College Almost for Free” by Ben Kaplan for practical advice on attacking
the scholarship search to get results.  Available at the library, bookstores and Amazon.
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