2 years ago
Admissions Advice

How to apply for scholorships?

I'm a high school freshman and there's no way my parents are going to pay for my college as they don't want me going, but they also won't let me get a job so the only way for me to go to college is with a scholarship. I was wondering when I'm able to apply and how.

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4 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Hi thank you for your question. I think there are many high school students that have conflicted relationships with their parents. As a minor, one often doesn't understand the laws that govern financial responsibility between parents and children with regards to college.

While it may be true that your parents see no value in higher education and do not wish you to attend so you can get on with your life or help them in the family business, once you turn 18 and are a legal adult, you can do as you see fit. It's an unfortunate situation but at least as a freshman you know what you are up against.

Some parents have a strange way of parenting and in your case, they must see some value for wanting to control what you can or can not do. Just keep in mind, that when you are 18, you are not obligated to their directive and you can live your own life.

In the meantime, regardless of how they treat you, the best course of action for you will to be a great student and put all your efforts into getting good grades, participating in leadership activities like community service and volunteering, take the hardest courses possible, have excellent relationships with your teachers and HS Counselor and doing some kind of sport that de-stresses you and takes your mind of the day to day pressures of living with parents that don't have your best interests at heart.

Doing these things will ensure that you will have some college choices that will want you based on your academic narrative and may reward you with scholarships that will make attending college life affordable. If your parents are low to low-middle income, that will also help you secure need based financial aid when you apply to college.

The Common App or the Coalition App or the UC App Portal and the like, are not financial aid portals. They do not have financial aid forms and contrary to what the other respondent wrote, checking off a box that says you will apply for financial aid doesn't mean that these applications inform colleges about your financial aid needs or qualifications. In order to inform colleges as an American, you have your parents fill out the FAFSA concurrently with your college application. You will also have your parents fill out the CSS profile concurrently. A third financial aid form maybe required from the school which is a more detailed accounting of assets and liabilities. Int'l students have to do the same thing, except they do not have to fill out the FAFSA because that is primarily for determining Federal grants called the Pell Grant which only covers up to $6495 of aid, which is only a fraction of the amount of aid one typically needs to attend college.

If your relationship deteriorates over time with your parents, and you have somewhere else to live, you can always consider emancipating from them, meaning you will legally sever the bond with them and be considered independent. This is not a easy thing to do and comes at both a financial and emotional cost, so I only mention this as a last resort.

In the US, there are basically only 2 forms of financial aid.

1. Merit Based Scholarships

2. Need Based Scholarships

All the best schools in the US including IVYS, ELITES and TOP liberal arts colleges dole out more "Need" based scholarships because after all, only really smart people apply to these schools to begin with so they do not need to reward people for being smart. They just are very generous with aid if you are poor or come from a marginalized background like being Black, LatinX, Indigenous, Non-CIS, Low income or a First Generation college applicant.

The 2nd, 3rd, 4th tier etc schools give out more Merit based aid because they need smart people on campus to round out their freshman class. For these schools it a marketing discount. Some schools even auto-admit you if you have a high GPA and high SAT/ACT test scores.

Once you are in 11th grade you will better know where you stand amongst your peers in your class. It's important to know if you are in say the top 5%, 10%, 25% or middle of the road. Also, by that time you will have taken either the PSAT or Pre-ACT so you will know how competitive you are with test scores. Both your class standing, test scores and the quality of your course work (rigor) will better inform you on what kind of schools you are a good fit for. Once that happens, you can create a list out of the 4300 4 year colleges and figure out which ones make sense for you and your dysfunctional financial situation with your parents.

I'm sorry for you and other kids like yourself out there who might be in the same situation. Financial aid is available but is getting it is not a simple process like filling out a 1 page form. In the meantime, I highly recommend you spend your free time researching financial aid, learning about it as much as you can and educating yourself. There are many books you can check out of the public libraries, youTube videos, blogs, vlogs, and other resources like going to college websites and reading about what they offer school by school. The more you know, the better prepared you will be for senior year when you apply.

Good luck. Even though you can't work, you now have a part-time job to help yourself, so make good use of the time afforded to you by not having to hold a part-time job. As long as you have a library card and internet access, you will have the tools you need to be informed and prepared.

2 years ago

I think that everything depends on the university you're applying to. The best way is to visit their website and look for the info there.

If you have some questions, or the info is not provided, then you can contact that university. All the contact details are also provided on the site

2 years ago

Most financial aid in college requires a separate application once you are admitted to the school. When it comes time to apply, make sure to keep this in mind. Since you are a freshman, my recommendation is to start looking for private scholarships. I really like to use bold.org because they constantly publish new scholarship opportunities, and you can apply for them as a freshman. (I.e. they are not limited to only seniors) one last thing to remember is that even when you are admitted to college, you can still apply for outside scholarships. Even if the scholarship is only for $500, it is worth it to still fill out an application. Hope this helps.

2 years ago[edited]

So, it usually depends on the university you’re applying to: some of them will take your “common application” as the app for financial aid. But, on the other hand, some colleges will require you to submit a special form in order to be consider for such aid. Furthermore, there are also multiple external organizations who are willing to provide decent amounts of money to various students. For instance, religious organizations.

By the way, the deadline to apply to most colleges was yesterday, Jan 15. Nevertheless, there are still some universities with deadlines of Feb 1, March, or even April. I suggest you meticulously research the colleges you would like to apply to, and start your Commonapp application ASAP.

Oh, and if you're a U.S. permanent resident, I guess you could fill out your FAFSA. Likewise, you could search for some Community colleges (which tend to be cheaper than universities).

Lastly, I suggest you search for some sort of private or external organization who is giving finicial aid to low-income freshman students.

Hope this was usefull, have a nice day, mate.

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