Depending on what type of institution you want to attend (private or public) the costs are going to vary. Typically, private institutions are wayyy more expensive, but if you can gather many scholarships and grants then it might end up being the most affordable one. For me, I made my college choice on whichever institution gave me the most affordable package because I wasn’t looking to gather many loans.
Like many of you know, or maybe you don’t know, you can start gathering scholarships even as a freshman in high school. I know! Shocking right! One of the best ways to start gathering scholarships is by applying for them online. A good first place to start looking for scholarships would be in fastweb.com. You basically just create a profile and start narrowing down your search by providing as much information about yourself as possible. This will help narrow down the scholarships that you are applicable for. Another similar website like Fastweb would be scholarships.com and studentscholarships.org.
Although it may be tempting to apply to the really large scholarships with a huge dollar sign I would recommend to apply to maybe the smaller ones. The reason for that is because not a lot of people apply to those so you have a larger chance of receiving the scholarship. Sometimes these scholarships don’t require much effort, maybe only like a short essay which is really easy to do.
If you are a senior I would highly recommend applying to scholarships within the institution that you are applying for. From my personal experience, this is how I have gathered the most scholarships. I believe a reason for this would be because you are only competing for these scholarships with the people who are attending the institution not the whole world.
Lastly, your college counselors and peer mentors are also a great source for finding more about receiving financial aid and gathering scholarships. I recommend you reach out to them and try to start saving today! It is never too late to start saving money for college!
-- Sheyla Meza