College Scholarships and FAFSA

Updated on September 20, 2012
J.K. asks from Phoenix, AZ
13 answers

Does anyone have any suggestions about getting college scholarships? With my son, we filled out a bunch and heard nothing. We also tried FAFSA but you need a college code and we're doing College Plus where they help you pass CLEP tests. They all eventually transfer to a college but not until after the first year so technically, there is no college at first. Now, I'm trying for my daughter and I can't find scholarship apps at all. Only the ones that end up being ads for colleges. Any suggestions would be helpful. Do you have to have a college code for FAFSA? Am I missing something? So many people make it sound so easy... but on the other hand, I homeschool and I think I remember getting help from my high school. Thank you for your time.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

If they aren't attending a college they don't qualify for a college financial aid package. Is there any reason they can't go to college? Almost all Jr. College's are prepared to help the students pass the classes so they make good grades.

I have never heard of just testing out of the basics and not going that first year. I guess it works for you since you've done it once already.

I think that you need to go to a local college and just visit with the FA adviser there. They can tell you how to fill the FA paperwork out better.

Also, once you do decide on the college she'll be physically attending you can go there and get some links to their scholarships pages and start the task of looking and looking.

When I was at OSU they had a room where there were tons of pages to look at, some scholarships were for red headed green eyes adult's who were studying vet med or some such thing. That person had lost a child that had wanted to be a vet. So they left their money to the college to be given out via scholarships to a specific type person who would remind them of their daughter. There are all kinds of exclusive scholarships like this out there.

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answers from Washington DC on

my homeschooled kids weren't able to dig up any scholarships but both avail(ed) themselves of FAFSA. beyond that i'm no help, i'm afraid. part of their homeschool experience was to figure out bureaucracy that their poor mother finds baffling. they did ALL their college entrance stuff on their own. i just made coffee and sympathetic noises.
:) khairete

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answers from San Francisco on

Generally speaking, the college itself has a financial aid office. You would fill out the standard forms there, and then if your child qualifies for any of the available scholarships or grants, money would be awarded. If not, they'd direct you toward student loans.

However, I am not familiar with College Plus? If it is not an accredited college, generally you wouldn't be eligible for most scholarships. You might have to go the route of getting a loan?

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answers from Dallas on

My daughter receives loads of info from her high school. Her school is only 11-12th grades with about 2400 students and in the top 1% of high schools in America. The counselors and principal make sure no one slips through the cracks on opportunities. The counseling office has a specail office set aside within the area for students to go in and access information just in case they don't have access at home.

Although we have her pretty much funded for college, she is looking at scholarship opportunities with academics, etc. She will graduate in 2013 and my understanding was that the FASFA apps would be done in the spring. My daughter is applying early decision and will know by mid Dec.on her college choice if she is accepted or on a wait list for regular admission. We are working with a coach through the Princeton Review who helps walk you through the process to make sure all the t's are crossed and all the i's are dotted just right.

We get daily news from the school which lets us know what colleges are visiting during the week and scholarship opportunities.

Also, there are a lot of local scholarships which are advertised for anyone to apply for which include... PTA scholarships if a student is an active member of the PTA, PTA's from elementary school offer scholarships to past students of the school. We get updated lists of all this at least twice a week.

Do you have a homeschool association where you might be able to get some of this info? It is very helpful in weeding out advrtisements vs the real opportunities.

Good Luck

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answers from Eugene on

Our community college has workshops on filling out the fafsa and where to find scholarships. Yours may be able to help you. They should at least have a list of resources to search for scholarships.

There are numerous scholarships given in smaller amounts through various civic groups. Rotary club, women's clubs, church groups... these can really add up.

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answers from Boise on

For the FASFA you just need to enter a few college codes of where she might go. It doesn't have to be where she ends up going.

I haven't used these two for scholarships, but i have heard great things about them.

Here's another good site about how to go about it..

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't know Arizona law, but in PA I think kids who are home schooled can still use the resources of their local school district. So if I were you, I would contact the guidance office in your school district and see of you can talk to someone there.

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answers from San Francisco on

You have to do the FAFSA. You can add the college codes to it when you know where she is applying. Check out FastWeb for scholarships.

The FAFSA is pretty easy to do yourself. I don't know anything about CLEP tests or College Plus.

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answers from Austin on

At our daughters high school there is a College Coach on Campus.
She has lists and lists of scholarships.

Also the Counselors office had a wall of scholarships, you could go almost every day and there were new ones posted. Ask her Academic Counselor at school.

The other thing is that our daughter applied to 9 colleges and each college sent her their acceptance letters with the scholarships and grants, they were offering her to attend their schools. This was based on her FAFSA form as well as her Academics and test scores. .

So she may need to get her acceptance letters to see what the colleges are offering her. Even then, you can speak with their financial aide offices and they can also help with more information, if she is sent an acceptance letter.

Some Colleges will accept the AP Test and allow the student to take a credit for that subject, but some do not..
Our daughter passed her AP exams, but the College she accepted did not need those subjects for her degrees.

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answers from Boston on

Is your daughter's next step traditional college or College Plus (which isn't an accredited college and therefore doesn't qualify a student for financial aid or scholarships)? I can't tell if the CP reference is to your daughter or your son.

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answers from New York on

Time to visit your public library.

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answers from St. Louis on

Aside from special scholarships the college of choice sends you an scholarship package. If I were you I would contact this college plus place you speak of and ask what they offer.

You can fill out the FAFSA without a college code but it won't go anywhere. Pretty much what they tell you is if you meet income requirements for financial aid but until it is sent to a college that is not translated into cash value.

If college plus does not have a college code then it is not considered a college by FAFSA and will not receive any financial aid.

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answers from Dallas on

You might call your local high school and find out when they are having college night on their campus. Since you pay taxes in the district, there shouldn't be a problem for home schoolers to attend. They usually encourage students and parents to attend as sophomores and juniors, but seniors are welcome to attend. It usually includes a financial aid seminar, a session on scholarships and scholarship essays and other classes to help with college planning. They also usually have representatives from many colleges who will visit with you that night and explain things about their process.
The FASFA form is the federal form that is required for all government financial aid and some other aid (but not all scholarships). You file for it in January (as early in the year as possible) of the year in which you want to enroll in the Fall semester of that year. That would be mid year of the Senior year if your student is enrolled in public school-by then the student should have an idea of where they would like to attend or you can just list the local community college.
Based on your income criteria, you may or may not receive any federal money. You still have to file FAFSA even if you are not looking for federal aid but at other forms of financial aid. You usually get a letter from the college stating the amount of your award in late spring. Sometimes the college will make an additional award based on financial need or other criteria. If you decide to go elsewhere, I think you can have the money transferred to another college.
There are lots of scholarships out there. Don't pay a service to search for scholarships for you. The guidance counselors at the high school may provide you with some websites you can search under. Our district posts them on the district website so parents can see what is out there too. There are some scholarships you can apply for in the sophomore/junior year too-some require an essay or other submissions as well. Good luck on your college search. You could let your daughter search for one scholarship each day as part of her studies and then apply for one a week as part of her home school day. If i find the websites for scholarships, I will post them.

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