Monday, July 22, 2024

National Scholarship Month: Don’t Fear the Free Money.

November 30, 2019 by  
Filed under Education, Money, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Ah…college: The Promised Land that most get to after getting into thousands of dollars of debt.  The US already owes so many so much.  Thousands of people already have trouble paying back loans.  Who wants to get to adulthood and have that type of weight on their shoulders?

Present-day college and university admission may cost more, but there are ways to decrease the sting of college debt through scholarships and grants.  Most people of color have no way of finding out about these vessels of free money due to socio-economic status. The only time they hear about any scholarships is when it comes to a sport. Some high schools, however, do their best to make sure everyone, regardless of their financial status, has access to free money to get into post-secondary institutions.

Wynter Nash, Lead Counselor at Ranchview High School in Irving, TX, is in charge of a team of people who dedicate time to helping students decide what their life will be after high school.  One part of that task is educating students about financial aid for college because some parents do not know when or where to go: “I think students don’t think they will receive it so they don’t try.  I also think parents don’t know who to assist their students or feel that they have the time to assist.”

Free money is free money. It is not just for a certain type of student.  According to Counselor Nash, it is for everyone: “I think students and families believe only the low-income student or the “smart” student receives scholarships.  In fact, there are scholarships for all types of students!”  Instead of immediately counting you or your family members out from receiving funding, consider looking based on race, student activities, occupation aspirations, and other personal connections to your student.

The information is out there.  Schools like Ranchview have counselors that do everything short of stapling information to students’ heads to assure they know about opportunities available: “At RHS we try to advertise scholarships through various methods: Social Media, counselor website, old fashioned spreadsheets, posting on bulletin boards and handing out scholarships to students we know that would be eligible.” Like Ranchview, other high schools do their best to make sure that the information is available.  Students, however, have to take the initiative to look for the money. It will not fall in their lap.

The fear of free money comes from the fear of actually doing research.  Our “Google” mindset has us sometimes believing that things should come easy. They will not. Free money never will, but it does not mean it is not accessible.  These programs really do make a difference in the lives of those who receive them. Lead Counselor Nash concurred explaining her experience with students and scholarships: “I have seen students receive a full ride to college for four years, still apply for outside scholarships and have enough to buy a car and laptop!  Scholarships can make a difference in whether a student goes to a four year school or a community college.”  During this National Scholarship week, make an effort to research and find scholarships and grants.  It is out there if you want it.

Staff Writer; J. W. Bella

May also follow this talented sister online over at; JWB Writes.

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