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Affording College

Discussions around finances and affordability related to college expenses are a hugely important piece of the college admissions process. The Director of College Counseling will provide guidance around need and merit-based aid and provide any school related documents needed (i.e., transcript, letter of recommendation, etc). It is the responsibility of the family to manage application materials and deadlines related to scholarships. This is a great area where parent(s)/guardian(s) can assist their student.

Families can find resources and websites below to aid in the scholarship search and completion of the financial aid process for college. There are thousands of opportunities for aid out there but they generally fall into two categories - need-based or merit-based aid (with some that overlap). School-specific aid is an important piece to investigate as well. Some schools will automatically consider applicants for scholarships through your Common Application (nothing additional needed). Others will have a separate application/interview process, particularly for those scholarships that offer the most amount of aid. Even if a school is test-optional in admissions, the financial aid office may consider test scores in evaluating scholarship candidates so please be sure to check scholarship eligibility. SAT/ACT waivers are available for those who qualify. Here are some tips to get started:

  1. This resource is helpful to have on hand to reference key dates and resources. * Beware of scholarship scams - you can read more here!
  2. Sign up for two scholarship search engines to get regular notifications about opportunities your student may qualify for based on the responses they provide to the initial questions asked.
  3. As you're learning more about colleges and Universities where you might attend, be sure to visit their Financial Aid webpage or talk with a tour guide or admissions rep about the aid that's typically offered to students. The individual school pages on SCOIR will also rate the school on distributed need and merit-award.
  4. Be prepared for the FAFSA opening on October 1st. Even if your family doesn't qualify for need-based aid, some merit scholarships look at the FAFSA as well.
  5. Think about using a resource like the one below and set up a recurring monthly calendar reminder to check which have deadlines in the coming month.

scholarships categorized by deadline month

Need-based aid

Merit-based scholarships

Additional resources