In part two of my discussion with Financial Aid expert Jodi Okun – we're going to focus on scholarships. Jodi explains exactly what scholarships are all about.
Scholarships are a form of student financial aid that does not need to be repaid. Foundations, philanthropists, non-profit organizations, businesses and colleges help students pay for college award scholarships.Some scholarships are awarded for academic merit, while others may focus on artistic or athletic talent or other personal characteristics. There are even a variety of unusual scholarships based on more obscure talents. A professional financial aid advisor can help you to determine if any of these are right for you.
The National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA), the national professional organization for scholarship sponsors, supports national Scholarship Month. NSPA promotes student access to higher education through scholarships.
From my own personal experience (my son is involved) I know there are almost 200 scholarships which are only available to students who were members of their school's USFirst Robotics team. Look far and wide to find as many financial aid opportunities as you can.
But it's not just the money involved which makes the scholarship process important. Jodi explains that there are other benefits as well.
Scholarships not only make it possible for students to pursue a college education by improving access to higher education, but they also provide the recipients with greater flexibility. This allows students to choose the college that best meets their needs, without the demand for large student loans.
College scholarships also offer other benefits for students beyond the gift aid. The act of applying for a scholarship can help the student clarify his or her goals and decide upon a career path. Winning a scholarship can be a mark of excellence, opening doors for the student to new and exciting educational experiences.
Many scholarship sponsors provide their winners with long-term advocacy and support through mentorship and other services. Scholarship recipients often also get to interact with each other, building life-long friendships and creating a synergy that challenges and inspires them to strive for excellence.
If you take the time, do your research, and follow the process you never know how much free money you can find in the scholarship world.
My thanks to Jodi Okun of College Financial Aid Advisors for helping my readers with the important subject of scholarships and financial aid. If you are having difficulty with the financial aid world, or have any questions, you can contact Jodi through her website which is listed on the right.