ALERT: I’M ABOUT TO TRY TO CONVINCE YOU THAT CONTINUING TO WORK ON YOUR ACT SCORE UNTIL YOU’VE ACHIEVE YOUR OPTIMUM POTENTIAL COULD HAVE A MONETARY RETURN IN THE FORM OF MORE SCHOLARSHIP MONEY.
If you’ve started making college visits, you’ve probably looked at the campus grounds, Greek organizations, climate, size of student population, cafeteria food, majors offered, reputation.....the list goes on and on and is extremely personal. There is one criteria you may not have considered but which might influence your decision or at the least your preparation before applying for admission:
As early as the summer before junior year, start using your computer savvy to investigate the scholarships available and the requirements for qualification. There are many online services to choose from but be cautious and NEVER sign up for one that requires payment or asks for a credit card number as part of the “free” registration process. Scholarships are intended to GIVE you money, not take it from you; tuition expenses will do that very effectively.
Most online scholarship assistance services will require that you allow them to share your name and information with a bevy of colleges, each of which may contact you. I don’t have a problem with this unsolicited recruitment because it has frequently helped me become aware of schools that I might not have considered otherwise. You may feel differently, so be sure to read the terms and make it a point to inform your folks BEFORE SIGNING UP.
Here’s how to get started: web search “scholarships” and start cruising around.
So now that you’ve done a little investigation, you might have discovered that many colleges give tuition breaks and scholarship awards with GPA and ACT/SAT qualifications. That’s why it’s prudent to begin the information gathering the summer before junior year; you have time to work on that GPA.
Many schools INCREASE the award based on higher ACT scores too, so even a senior can work toward the September and October ACT tests and achieve a higher score that would qualify for additional scholarship money. Once your applications are in, and even if you’ve been accepted at your first-choice school, you could retake the ACT in December of your senior year and meet the requirements for a higher scholarship award before packing your trunk and loading up the van for Freshman Orientation.
You're already on computer, so start searching for "found money" right now!!