What Time Is It? College Time…

Judianne Speach

…but unfortunately, it’s not summer vacation (High School Musical reference). Seniors, listen up. Applying for college can be a stressful process. What’s even more bothersome are the countless questions you are asked by family members, friends, and colleagues.. “Where are you going to college?” “What are career are you going to pursue?” “Why are those colleges your top choices?” “What interests you about that career?” *insert judgmental looks and attitude here*

Honestly, sometimes I want to reply, “BE QUIET AND STAY OUT OF MY BUSINESS”, but that would be rude. So, those of us that refrain with such frustrated responses often name a couple colleges whether we are interested in them or not, give an idea of what profession we might want in four years, and call it a day.

You know, I’m tired of the judgment regarding post-high school decisions. There’s no way one can answer those questions without feeling like they are in a dark room with a spotlight over their head. It does not matter where you are going or what degree you’re seeking—you’ve almost completed high school, which is an obstacle within itself. This decision-making process should be more of an adventure, if anything.

So…about this…adventure. It’s expensive. You plan on applying for financial aid in January (do that as early as possible, by the way. Set a reminder on your phone or something.), you’ve sent in your ACT scores and transcripts and applied for college-specific scholarships…but more money never hurts, right?

Have no fear, MoolahSPOT is here!

Moolahspot.com is an awesome tool to help you find outside scholarships. Don’t ask me how I found it, I can’t even remember, and I had to dig in my search history just to relocate it. Anyway, you create a free account, and fill out a questionnaire regarding your skills strengths and the types of scholarship applications you wish to complete. Then, an entire list of scholarship application websites is generated for you. It indicates how much money the award is for, when the application is due, and what corporation is supplying the scholarship. Some of the scholarships are need-based, others are merit based, and some are literally raffles.

Just be aware of how much personal information you are giving these scholarship websites. It is always a good idea to check the security of the scholarship you’re applying for, whether it comes from Moolahspot or another scholarship generator. It never hurts to be on guard for spam. An easy way to locate spam is to do a quick Google search about the scholarship you’re applying for to see if there are any forums regarding other people’s experiences with the scholarship.

If I were you, I’d give this a try. Sure, it’s tedious, but it could be really beneficial. November is a stressful month, and senior year comes with all kinds of irritating interrogation. Saving money can certainly make this process a better one, however, and a good way to start is on moolahspot.com.

**Don’t forget to apply for FAFSA in January!!!**
Check out this link for more info on how to avoid scholarship-related scams: http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/the-scholarship-coach/2012/07/26/dont-fall-for-these-5-college-scholarship-scams

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