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Scholarship funds for your student are more available than you might think

Posted at 10:46 AM, Mar 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-21 11:51:42-04

In the wake of the news about the wealthy allegedly using their influence to get their kids into elite schools, many parents and students are reminded that traditional means are the best way to get into college.

Millions of scholarships are awarded every year. And they’re not just for straight-A students and exceptional athletes. The variety and purposes of scholarships will surprise you. For instance, did you know there are scholarships for caddies, knitters and duck callers?

As students commit to a college, they face yet another hurdle: Finding the money for four years of tuition payments.

“There are absolutely many ways to be able to finance your education. We have many available admission counselors that are available for our students, to meet with the students, to meet with the parents to be able to walk them through the application process every step of the way,” said Director of Scholarships at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Executive Director of Recruitment and Admission Oscar Reyna.

Colleges are one of the largest providers of grants and scholarships. So use smart strategies to maximize your chances of getting scholarship money.

“When you take a look at the application process, aim for 50 applications. Take a look at the different websites and even some of the local business that you support or local eateries will provide some sort of national scholar applications. So again, the more scholarship applications that you put out there, the better your options will be,” said Reyna.

“Yes, it is very important to consider also there is financial aid and different kinds of scholarships the school is providing. I believe nobody wants to be in a huge debt by the end of graduation,” said Lorena Quevevo, director of scholarships at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Spend your time searching for scholarships that match your experience and interests through free websites like: Cappex, The College BoardFastweb or Scholarships.com.

“There is also a private scholarship section that provides students with a list of different databases, and information for deadlines so they can complete their scholarship applications,” Quevevo said.

Every dollar counts when trying to cover an ever-growing college bill.

“For our University of Texas A&M Corpus Christi, about 85 percent of students that apply for the general undergraduate scholarship application would receive a scholarship every year,” said Quevevo.

One thing you should keep in mind is the application deadline. Keep a list of each scholarship, its requirements and its due date. A missed deadline is a missed opportunity.

“Do not wait until the last minute to submit an application because anything can happen that can stop you from submitting that application, and you might miss out on an important opportunity,” said Quevevo.

One thing to also consider is the slow but growing trend of colleges offering free tuition to students with families under a certain income bracket. For example, Rice University will offer free tuition to low- and middle-income students starting in the fall of 2019, under Rice’s new plan, called The Rice Initiative. Students with family incomes between $130,000 and $200,000 will receive scholarships covering at least half of their tuition. The new Rice grants are need-based. Families with large assets may not qualify.

For more information on what our local university offers visit:http://osfa.tamucc.edu/scholarships.html

The pool of scholarship money available to students every year is big: The U.S. Department of Education and colleges award some $46 billion every year, according to debt.org. Plus, more than $3 billion is available through private sources. Some of that money goes unclaimed.