A quality education is affordable at Seminole State College, and scholarships are a major factor in helping to keep college costs manageable for families. With this in mind, the College offers the following tips to help students and parents navigate the scholarship process.
- Schedule plenty of time to research and apply for scholarships.
- Create a calendar of scholarship application deadlines to help you stay on track.
- Write a resume or personal statement for potential references. This will aid them in highlighting your qualifications for a specific scholarship.
- For high school students, meet with your guidance counselor to request scholarship books and applications.
- Use the Internet. It is the fastest way to process the FAFSA. Also, use reputable scholarship matching services.
- Check with local businesses, your church, local alumni clubs of colleges and other organizations in your neighborhood to see if they offer scholarships.
- If you have special talent (music, drama, sports, etc.) or plan to major in a specific area, contact the department head or coach regarding your interest in scholarships.
Apply for Scholarships
- Essays are required for most scholarships. Give yourself plenty of time to draft essays, and ask an English teacher or mentor to provide feedback. One well-written essay can often be used for multiple applications.
- Find out if there is a form or process for requesting letters of recommendation. Provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you'll be receiving your recommendation by mail. It's also a nice touch to send a thank you to the recommender.
- Make a copy of every scholarship application you complete, and record the date submitted.
- Review your student's eligibility for scholarships by requesting a copy of his or her transcript and standardized test scores. Keep in mind that if your student is 18 or older, he or she may have to provide written consent to have these records released to you.
- Prepare your tax return in January or as early as possible. This will be helpful as your dependent student completes the FAFSA, which determines a student's eligibilty to receive federal financial aid.
- Research to determine the cost of attending college, and let your student know early what you can and cannot afford.
Beware of Scams
- Do not pay an application fee for a scholarship or to redeem a scholarship prize or to any person or company to search for scholarships. Also, remember that the FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. There is no cost to complete it.
- Do not respond to emails requesting your Social Security number.
- Beware of free seminars provided by insurance companies, banks and brokerage firms. These events are usually intended to sell you products.
- Follow your instincts. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Do your research carefully before proceeding.