I know I said that the first Friday of every month was Scholarship Diva Day, but my friend, Janet Addison, has so much helpful information, I might just have to give her every Friday.
Today she tells us what high school seniors should be doing right now to find scholarship money.
Some students started back to school this week and many others will be starting soon. Now is the time to make a plan for finding money for school. High school seniors better get busy-- this is your best chance for winning scholarships and grants.
- Apply to your top 3-4 college choices. Apply for financial aid at each school (may or may not be a separate application) as soon as possible. NOTE: The money may be gone if you wait until the deadline! Also apply for any relevant scholarships offered by each school's Alumni Office (usually a separate application than Financial Aid).
- Ask teachers, employers, and other appropriate adults to write recommendation letters for you. Provide a resume to remind them how wonderful and talented you are. Give them a 2-week deadline.
- Take or retake the ACT to improve your score. Check with your college choices about the ACT/GPA thresholds for scholarship levels. The December test date is often the last ACT score that counts, so check with your school and applications.
- Study and make good grades.
- Participate in extra-curricular activities.
- Start a scholarship notebook for organizing your materials.
- Get a few official transcripts from your high school office (our school charges $1 per transcript) and make several copies.
- Start finding scholarships to apply for (try Fastweb.com to get you started).
- Plan to fill out FAFSA form as soon after January 1 as possible, then amend later if needed.
- Parents should plan to file taxes as early as possible because FAFSA is tied to your tax return.
Next Friday Janet will talk about high school juniors, but visit her at www.scholarshipdiva.com if you can't wait.