This morning, we conducted a Twitter Chat on the topic of financial aid and scholarships. There were five major themes from our chat: the complexity of financial aid, tips you may not have heard, resources for foster students, the value of national scholarship databases, and opportune times to look for new scholarships.
First off, we discussed some of the nuances that go along with scholarship winnings. Sometimes, winning a scholarship might be a bad thing because it will cause you to lose work-study or a Pell grant. The overarching theme? Always, always, always talk with a counselor from your college’s financial aid office and look into the details before applying to scholarships.
@samonxlim Pell Grants can be used for living expenses. Make sure that the cashier processes scholarships in the right order #CollegeQnA
Second, the College Navigators at SEA really know their stuff. They had a lot of tips that most students don’t know, but should.
If you will struggle to pay for college, apply to in-state schools. They are motivated to help you succeed. #CollegeQnA
Keep the scholarships you already won. Keep your grades above the minimum GPA requirements. #CollegeQnA
Also, turn in your acceptance letters and register for classes on time. Dot your i's and cross your t's #CollegeQnA
Third, we got a question from David Sharp about resources for foster youth. Foster programs are set up by individual states, so resources will vary widely depending on where you live. SEA had a couple of great starting points for students from Washington State.
Fourth, we talked about national scholarship databases. They can be helpful for out-of-state students but can overwhelm a student and make their scholarship search inefficient.
Tip from @VoicesSEA, national scholarship databases can be key for out-of-state students #CollegeQnA
The drawback of national databases is lack of quality control. You may apply for a $500 award competing with 10k students. #CollegeQnA
Another problem with national databases is they give too many options. They don't know which are best for the individual student #CollegeQnA
I really wanna cry. How am I EVER going to get those scholarships I applied for if my grades have been shit?!!!!
@Thugg_Be_Aleee Low grades make it difficult. One solution is to go to a CC to get your grades up, then transfer to a 4 year #CollegeQnA
We finished off the chat with a short series of tips about some opportune times to look for new scholarships.
A special thank you to all of our participants!
When to look for new scholarships: when you have a baby (not that you'll come out ahead) #CollegeQnA
What do you think? Should we do it again sometime? If you missed the chat or just though of a great question, you can always tweet @SREducationGrp and we’ll do everything we can to get you an answer.