The start of the new year can mean the start of planning for college for many families. And, when it comes to finding scholarship money, the experts at the College Foundation of North Carolina can offer some simple tips to kickstart the process.
"We definitely want kids and parents to steer away from anyone wanting them to pay to assist them to finding free money," explained CFNC Representative, Sarita Broadway.
Broadway said there are plenty of free online tools to help with the national scholarship search, but points out the competition is greater nationally.
"We have links on our site to Collegeboard.com, we also have another link on our site called Unigo.Com, there's another organization such as Fastweb.com that allows them to research for scholarships," Broadway said.
"Those are scholarships that are open across the country.
For NC residents, we definitely want them to start at CFNC.org."
Local scholarships also greatly increases the odds for students.
"We also encourage students to check if their parents are involved with a civic group or involved in church or different organizations at church-choir, or ushering," Broadway explained. "Therefore, they're a prime candidate."
Broadway also points out students should inquire about whether part-time jobs provide scholarship opportunities. And, making guidance counselors aware of intended majors or plans after school can be a valuable resource. Students should check other high school websites in the county to search for posted scholarships.
Checking early for deadlines can also be crucial. And, for anyone who thinks it is too late to save, Broadway said that is never the case.
"Parents sometimes think it's their senior year, we haven't saved - is there any point in saving? Absolutely," Broadway said. "And, continue saving while they're in college during Freshman, Sophomore, Senior year because expenses continue to add up."
Report a Typo
Tips to finding college scholarships
More Personal Finance