Scholarship Hunting

Before you start your scholarship search, read the warning below from the Federal Trade Commission about fee sites and remember that you can probably find your scholarships yourself if you are willing to do the legwork. You have access to the same books, websites and community resources as the professional searchers do—maybe more because you have community contacts. Use your charm and start pounding the pavement—er— websites. Learning how to raise money needs to be a huge part of your education. (Ask 99 percent of the singers who are out of school!)

The Federal Trade Commission has published the following Information:

Many legitimate companies advertise that they can get students access to lists of scholarships in exchange for an advance fee that ranges from $10 to $400. Others charge an advance fee to compare a student’s profile with a database of scholarship opportunities and provide a list of awards for which the student may qualify. They don’t guarantee or promise scholarships or grants.

Some scholarship search services do misrepresent their services, guaranteeing that they can obtain scholarships on behalf of students or actually award scholarships to students for an advance fee. In these cases, consumers receive only a list of scholarships or grants for which they can apply. Usually, all consumers receive the same list, regardless of their qualifications. The search companies that offer a “money-back guarantee” usually require students to apply for each scholarship or grant they have listed and then offer proof that they’ve been denied by each one.

Other fraudulent companies provide nothing for the student’s advance fee—not even a list of sources. Still others tell students they’ve been selected as “finalists” for awards that require fees first. These scams usually ask for the student’s checking account to “confirm eligibility for an award,” and then debit the account for large fees.

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/scholarship/psa.htm

Resources for finding money for college:

• Your local church or temple

• A recital in your community explaining your upcoming college needs. Start generating your fan club now. You’re going to need it later.

• Your high school counselor will know about local scholarships such as the Rotary Club, The Women’s Club, etc.

Web Sites

2002 Colleges and Scholarships,

www.college-scholarships.com
This website contains links to many free scholarship websites and searches. It also has information and advice regarding your school selection, university contact information, and tips on preparing for college entrance exams.

Back to College:

www.back2college.com
If you have been thinking of going back to school, this website provides advice on how to do so. It also contains valuable information for any student on how to fund your education. Select “Financial Aid/Scholarships” from the menu on the left of the screen to find information on government funding, loans, grants, graduate funding, scholarships for women, minorities, people with disabilities, etc.

College Connection Scholarships:

www.collegescholarships.com
Regional, national and international scholarships are listed here, along with Financial Aid and student loan info.

College is Possible:

www.collegeispossible.com
This website has info on preparing for college, choosing the right school, and paying it, including links to several free scholarship search websites, and info for adults returning to school.

College Solutions:

www.college-solutions.com
To find out the four fatal errors to avoid when shopping for colleges, one may purchase a cassette tape for $19.95. This website also provides consultation services for a minimum of $75.

CollegeQuest:

www.collegequest.com
This website has a scholarship search function as well as advice and info on applying for school and for financial aid.

CollegeView:

www.collegeview.com
For a Scholarship Search or a Scholarship Directory, run your cursor over “Financial Aid and Scholarships.”.

Cynthia Good’s College and
Career Planning Page:

www.bridge-rayn.org/Cgood.html
Provides links to colleges, online applications, financial aid, testing, career counseling and study aids.

Embark.com

www.embark.com
After selecting one of the five types of schools on the home page, you can select “Finance” on the second page for information about loans, scholarships and grants.

Estudentloan:

apps.estudentloan.com/exec/loanfinder
This is a loan search database.

FastWeb:

www.fastweb.com
This website provides a free database search of scholarships. After entering you enter a profile, the database will e-mail you with announcements of new scholarships that are compatible with your profile.

FinAid:

www.finaid.org
Advice on obtaining financial aid. Some links.

Financial Aid Resource Center:

www.theoldschool.org
Info on different types of aid available for different types of students. Loans, grants, scholarships. Select “Scholarship Searches” under “Topics” for advice and links to various scholarship search engines.

Free Scholarship Information Service

www.freschinfo.com
Scholarship searches, advice and info on financial aid.

Gradschools.com

www.gradschools.com
Info and links for graduate school. For financial aid info, scroll down to the bottom of the page and select “Financial Aid Information.”

International Education Financial Aid:

www.iefa.org
Contains a scholarship search engine, message boards and links to other related sites.

Kaplan:

www.kaptest.com
Official Kaplan website. On the home page, select “College” and on the next page, scroll down to “Admissions” to find information about financial aid. This website provides a scholarship search database as well as info and advice about financial aid.

Petersons:

www.petersons.com
Select “Financial Aid” on the home page to find scholarship and loan info.

Power Prep:

www.powerprep.com
Test-taking tips! For Financial Aid info, from the menu bar, select “College Guidance” and then scroll down to “Five Easy Steps to Financial Aid.”

Sallie Mae:

www.salliemae.com
A popular resource for student loans.

ScholarStuff:

www.scholarstuff.com
Under “Categories” on the right-hand side of the page, select “Financial Aid” for links to valuable scholarship resources.

Search for Scholarships:

www.back2college.com/library/scholarships.htm
Links to scholarship search databases.

SRN Express

www.srnexpress.com/index.cfm
Free scholarship search database.

Studentloan:

www.studentloan.com
How to obtain loans through Citibank.

Studyabroad.com:

www.studyabroad.com
Info on various study abroad programs. For info on obtaining financial aid for study abroad, do a search and examine the options for individual programs.

The Scholarships Page:

www.scholarship-page.com
Search and browse available scholarships.

United Scholarship Advisement:

www.collegefunds.net
Free scholarship search. Requires registration.

Books:

Applying for Financial Aid, ACT, P.O. Box 168 Iowa City IA 52243 (free)

Baron’s Complete College Financing Guide – $10.47 at amazon.com
Reviews: Ingram “Updated to reflect the most current figures and information, this book gives parents and students the facts they need about financial aid for education. Described here are ways to shop for and get low-interest student loans, and how to find scholarship and grant sources—including many that aren’t widely known.”

College Costs & Financial Aid Handbook (The College Board, $21.95)

College Financial Aid for Dummies – Out of print but available on a limited basis for $12.99 through amazon.com’s marketplace sellers.

Discounts and Deals at the Nations 360 Best Colleges –$13.97 at amazon.com
Reviews: “This is the first book to explain the new reality of financial aid—in which discounts and deal-making reduce the “sticker price” at even the best schools, and even for families who would not have qualified for need-based aid in the past.

“Since the Justice Department broke up the collusion among the elite colleges in 1992, and because of escalating competitive pressures, colleges now use financial aid to compete for students rather than to merely cover need. The relatively uniform system of aid that existed years ago is gone, replaced by one in which aid varies depending on the school’s resources and its place on the market. Bruce Hammond shows families how to use the new rules of the game to their advantage—to make even the best schools affordable.

“Combining financial aid information with a detailed guide to the nation’s best colleges, and filled with Q&A’s, lists, and forms, this is an accessible, down-to-earth guide to help parents and students through one of their most stressful and exciting times.”

Don’t Miss Out: The Ambitious Student’s Guide to Financial Aid – $10.00 at amazon.com

Reviews: The Free Lance-Star, Fredricksburg VA: “Worth its weight in gold for anyone faced with paying for college” –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
United Features: “The most innovative, best organized and most helpful source of current tuition assistance yet produced.” –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Financial Aid Financer: Expert Answers to College Financing Questions: (Financial Aid Financer, 14th Ed) – $7.00 at amazon.com
Reviews: Financial Services Week “From modest beginnings in the Leider family basement, Octameron has grown to publish a series of some of the best books available on college financial planning…The firm is a Mecca for information.” —This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Forbes: “College financial guides come and go, but each year the inexpensive books published by Octameron Associates get better and better.” —This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Financing College – $12.57 at amazon.com
Editorial Reviews: Ingram Davis’s strategies are ethical, practical, and make financial sense—whether one is saving for a preschooler or scrambling to pay tuition for next year’s freshman. Checklists & worksheets. —This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The Insider’s Guide to Paying for College – $10.47 at Amazon.com
Customer Review: Don Betterton does a very good job of trying to take each type of student and setting them up with as many financial aid avenues as possible. However, no two students have the same need and the same financial background. Therefore it is difficult in order to resolve so many problems or opportunities for so many students. His many years at Princeton gives him the authority of saying in no uncertain terms “I have heard it all and here are a few options for YOU to think about”. There are many books on this subject and this one does a good job of trying to educate the reader on the most options available.

Investing Tips Grampa Taught Us: A Guide for Financing College Costs and More – $17.25 at amazon.com
Reviews:From Booklist: For whatever reason, this paperback’s authorship is fictitiously attributed to two baby cousins. The real author is their grandfather, Victor I. Eber, a former professor, columnist, and official of a money management company. Despite the book’s cutesy format (drawings of little kids, bunnies, dogs, cats, etc., all dispersing advice), it does offer some solid tips on financing college costs. In plain language, Eber writes about strategies to create realistic funds, warning that there are no formulas for getting rich quickly. He discusses long-term stock investing, real estate investing, and mutual fund investing. He writes about choosing a financial planner and about understanding risks, offering basic information on this important subject. George Cohen

Last Minute College Financing: It’s Never Too Late to Prepare for the Future – $8.79 at amazon.com

Meeting College Costs 2002 – $11.16 at Amazon

CJ Williamson

CJ Williamson founded Classical Singer magazine. She served as Editor-in-Chief until her death in July, 2005. For comments on this article or other articles, e-mail editorial@classicalsinger.com.