"The investment into your services have so far provided a return of over $100,000 toward our son's expenses, as he begins to receive acceptance into colleges that are offering tremendous financial assistance and merit scholarship." - E.F.
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Making College Affordable
There are four kinds of money used to pay for college: cash, loans, financial aid, and scholarships.
Financial aid is based upon the parents’ ability to pay for college. On the other hand, merit aid, often called scholarships or grants, is awarded based upon student strengths and efforts.
Note that scholarships extended by a college when admission is offered are different than those available afterwards from third parties such as corporations and foundations.
Scholarships provided at the time of admission are really just discounts, not an award of money. These are part of the marketing efforts used by private colleges, which publicize tuition at the highest possible levels to give the impression of a highly-valuable education. Then they drop the cost with a “scholarship” as an incentive for the student to enroll in their college. It is a bit like negotiating a car; the sticker price is not usually what you’ll pay. Unfortunately, you won’t know the final cost of a college until an admissions offer is made, but SCC can help you identify mid-grade colleges that are more likely to offer monetary incentives.
Scholarships that are available after an offer is made, or from a source outside of the college, are true monetary awards. These scholarships are available yearly and year-round, and the number of scholarships you can find is dizzying. There is a LOT of money available for students who put in the effort.
The starting point for scholarships should be the high school counselor’s office. Counselors are aware of some very valuable opportunities. After looking there, look online. Scholarship search engines can be effective tools for finding large numbers of scholarships, and most are sortable. A few even collect information about available internships. SCC provides clients with a list of trusted scholarship databases.
In addition, SCC supplements this information with our own Scholarship Database, updated continually by our interns and staff. The Scholarship Database—available to all SCC clients—includes opportunities that are hard to find through your own efforts.
A great resource that links you to the Net Price Calculators of schools can be found HERE