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College Advising

Hello and congratulations for taking the initiative to look for scholarships. The truth is that very few organizations send scholarship opportunity notifications directly to us at ASFA. So instead here are suggestions for how to find scholarships on your own: 

Q. Where can I find scholarships?

A. In most cases, the majority of scholarship and other financial aid comes from the college or school that the student attends. So the number one most important thing is for you to research and carefully follow the financial aid/scholarship application process at ALL of the colleges or schools to which you are applying. Keep in mind that these processes have some similarities, but can vary greatly from place to place, so do your research at each one and use whatever organizational system works best for you to make sure you stay on top of the deadlines and requirements.

National Scholarship Search Sites

Alabama -Specific Scholarship Searches

Other places to look for scholarships include:

  • Employers (of parents, guardians, and students)
  • Church, temple, or mosque to which you belong
  • Civic clubs such as Kiwanis, Lions, etc.
  • Unions, credit unions, professional organizations, and other groups to which you or family members belong
  • Your hometown - Check the website or contact the Guidance or Counseling Office of the high school where you are zoned to attend if you were not at ASFA to search for scholarships for students in your local community and which are not normally sent to ASFA.
  • Search Google or your preferred web search for keywords such as “scholarship” and whatever is important to you, i.e. writing, music, math, women in engineering, etc.

Q. Can you tell me how to get scholarships?

A. Although ASFA students have an incredible history of winning scholarships well above the national average, there is no magic formula. Although we wish that we had a hotline to the financial aid offices at colleges that I could ring up to simply get all of my students scholarships, we don’t.  Each student and family has to do the research and paperwork yourselves.  However, here’s some advice to help guide your search:

  • The most important thing to do is to find out from the colleges where you are applying how to apply for scholarships and be sure to follow their instructions completely and not miss any deadlines. For most students, the majority of financial aid comes from the college that you attend.  Research this on the college website, but be sure to also talk with an admission and/or financial aid officer to be sure you understand the process at their school because application processes vary from college to college. One place to start is Cappex.comor look for the Financial Aid or Scholarships section on the website of individual colleges that you interest you.
  • For need-based aid, you will need to complete either the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid www.fafsa.gov) and at some colleges the CSS Profile (https://profileonline.collegeboard.com) and/or other forms that the college may require. This is usually done in January of the senior year, unless you apply Early Decision or Early Action, in which case the deadline will likely be in the fall. (Ask your college when their deadline is for the decision plan under which you are applying.)   Remember that the FAFSA is FREE. If you find yourself on a website that charges a fee to complete the FAFSA, do NOT use it.

  • To search for other merit scholarships, try the websites listed in the previous page, which will send you scholarships that match the criteria that you enter your profile.

  • ASFA hosts an annual financial aid workshop each year during the winter. Stay tuned to the Daily Show & Tell and Naviance to find out when and where it will take
Two Free Ebooks:

The website FinAid.org is also highly recommended for any type of financial aid questions.


​​​​​​​Q. Should we pay for a service that offers to fill out financial aid forms or that guarantees financial aid?

A. NO!! These so-called services are examples of the many types of financial aid scams of which students and families need to steer clear. Although they may start with a “free seminar,” guaranteed results,” or similar incentive, they are scams nonetheless. The main thing to know is that the federal government provides the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov, and as its name suggests, it is FREE!! You should never, ever pay anyone to fill out financial aid forms for you. If you need assistance, the FAFSA offers toll-free customer service by phone, and any college financial aid office can assist you. AVOID the website www.fafsa.com, which looks just like the real FAFSA, but charges a hefty fee; it is a scam! There are others out there. Find out more about financial aid and scholarship scams.

 

Q. Should we pay for a prediction service to learn for certain whether or not my child will be admitted to a certain college?

A. NO! Because the nature of selective college admissions is subjective, it is impossible to predict with certainty the outcome of your application at any college. Most college admissions experts, including Ms. Rutsky, consider prediction services to be one of the many scams that students and families should avoid. In addition, ASFA provides all students access to SCOIR which has data to help predict your chances of admission as well as or better than any outside service.​​​​​​​