Is your child prepared to land a high paying scholarship from their chosen university?
Study results are in and it shows a certain group of students doesn't receive the help they may need or deserve. According to LendEdu’s latest survey on private scholarships, students with a household income between $50,000 and $100,000 were more likely to receive private (institutional) scholarships than those with a household income of $50,000 or less.
This one statistic perplexed me because one can easily assume scholarships are awarded to those who need them. I wanted to know why the statistics favored this group and what needed to be done to help those who not only need more scholarship money but deserve it too.
To gather some insight, I reached out to two experts to discuss why this particular segment of students was awarded more scholarships from their chosen schools and how you can prepare your child to become scholarship ready and land these scholarships too.
Where do scholarships come from?
According to scholarship expert, Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, there are four sources of free aid for students. The largest source is financial aid provided by colleges and universities. Then there is aid provided by the federal government for low-income students in the form of grants. Next are scholarships provided by companies, sororities, various organizations, and clubs. The final source of aid comes from individual states.
If you’re amongst those who believe going after private sector scholarships is where the money is — think again. Cox encourages parents to focus their efforts on selecting the right schools that are a good fit academically and financially. These are the schools you should narrow down and choose based on the amount of awards they are offering for your child based on merit. However, to do this you have to make sure your student is prepared to land these coveted awards.
Why some students can’t land high-paying scholarships
The reason many students in certain income brackets aren’t landing high paying scholarships really has nothing to do with their income. It’s certainly a factor, or some might consider a circumstance, that contributes to this outcome. However, the real reason is many students are ill-prepared academically and socially. If you need help to pay for your child’s education and don’t want to consider loans, you have to be proactive in their education and help them develop the skills and traits needed to obtain awards and free aid.
Schools are shifting from need-based to merit-based scholarship models.
Universities aren’t giving large scholarships to students who need the money because many are using merit to determine award recipients. Regardless of income, race, or gender — colleges and universities look at several factors to help reward scholarship money. These factors are academics, athletics, artistry, and social engagement. Higher institutions have to make money and they do this by offering scholarships to well-rounded students.
It’s clear the wealthier you are, the more resources you have available to help your child achieve academically and socially. This doesn’t mean all hope is lost for other students who aren’t wealthy. For everyone to win at the scholarship game, it’s best to start smart and early.
How to help your child land high-paying scholarships
According to Brenda from Scholarshop Mom, there are a few things you should keep in mind to help prepare your student for scholarship readiness.
- Be involved at their school.
- Be engaged in their learning as early as possible by making sure they are performing above grade level for reading and math.
- Understand their weaknesses and seek resources to help them with challenges.
LendEdu’s survey provides a list of schools that are awarding their student’s with the most institutional scholarships and that’s a good thing for you because you can use information like this to your advantage. Once your child expresses interest in college, begin doing research using this type of data to discover schools who award the most scholarships. After you have an idea of who is paying and how their students are earning these awards, use this information to help your child develop the qualities needed to be awarded these scholarships.
Talk with your kids to discover their interests and talents. Encourage and seek opportunities for involvement in the school and community. As they complete volunteer opportunities, lead social clubs, etc. — document this information so you can use it during the scholarship application process. Start as early as grade school and continue the process throughout their college years.
A Few Resources
There are many resources available to make the process easier as you prepare for landing high-paying scholarships. One of these resources is a course by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox titled, Winning College Scholarships. Cox is offering this course at a 50 percent discount for Huffington Post readers.
This isn’t a paid endorsement; however, I was able to preview the course. If you don’t know where to start, this course will provide you with several resources, worksheets, and tools that will guide you in the right direction. She discusses several tactics her family used which ultimately helped her oldest daughter win $500,000 in scholarships to multiple universities.
Another reliable resource is Scholarshop Mom. Brenda created this website because many parents she counseled couldn’t get to their children’s schools for various reasons, or the schools simply didn’t have the resources available. This website is updated regularly to provide you with the latest scholarship opportunities and more.
Now that you know the real reason your child can’t land high-paying scholarships, I encourage you to employ the tactics discussed, use the resources that have been made available to you, and give your child an advantage when it comes to landing high-paying scholarships. Start early, be involved in your child’s education, and be selective when determining the right college you should target. Hopefully, your efforts will pay off and your child will obtain the skills necessary to be a part of the group that does land high-paying scholarships.