Scholarships Provide a Needed Financial Break to Students

Would You Turn Away Free Money?

With college expenses rising, and many family budgets shrinking, pursuing scholarships can give a needed financial break to applicants and parents alike. Claudia Buck recently published this informative piece in The Olympian detailing one student’s scholarship search. Connor Quinn, a high school senior, ended up applying for over 80 scholarships, winning 22 awards totaling $22,700.

With the average tuition to private universities nearing $40,000 per year and financial aid budgets decreasing, scholarship money is becoming more of a necessity, and students are often unaware of how prevalent it can be. Buck writes that, according to estimates, there are over 1 million scholarships offering over $3 billion in free money.

While it takes some extra preparation, national college financial aid expert Mark Kantowitz explains that it doesn’t have to be overwhelming: “It isn't as much work as it seems. The first few will take maybe one hour per scholarship, but after you do your first half-dozen, you can adapt one essay to the next one. So instead of taking one hour to write an essay, you're taking 20 minutes.”

While it did take an extra effort, Quinn walked away with some non-material benefits as well, becoming more confident and grateful through the process. Quinn stated, “When I first started, I was really shy and stumbled during interviews…and it made me appreciate work and the value of a dollar.”

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