Scholarships Information Needed.

Updated on January 04, 2017
N.A. asks from Westborough, MA
12 answers

We are through most of the applications and my daughter has got acceptance letters from some of the schools. Now, comes the bigger and most important thing..... scholarships!! We just realized that she didn't qualify for scholarship at umass Lowell because she didn't apply. Most frustrating!!! We didn't know we had to do that at the time of submitting application. None of the other umass schools required that.
1) My question is can we still fill up the scholarship form even though deadline is over? Or should we call up Lowell and ask them what to do?

2) Also please share some websites that have good scholarships?

3) Lastly, what's your impression about Umass Boston in the field of computer science. My daughter got full tuition waiver in this school.

4) She also got accepted into a couple of out of state colleges but I am worried about the cost. Still haven't heard about financial details though but I am sure it will be high. Is it worth sending her out of state?? She wants to but what about finances. How do I explain her?

Please advise.

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answers from Appleton on

I believe every college or university has a Financial Aides Office, a counselor in one of these offices can guide you through the process.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I can only answer number 4. I think you need to level with her and give her a dollar amount that she can plan on receiving from you for college. Then if she wants to go out of state or to a more expensive school, the burden will be on her to take out more loans, seek out more scholarships, and/or work part time. Whether or not it's worth it to go to school out of state is something that your daughter is going to have to decide for herself based on her own desires, ambitions, and resources.

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answers from Norfolk on

Acceptances are coming in but financial info (aid they've granted you) won't be in till about March - which is what they are telling our son.
Her guidance counselor should have info on web sites about scholarships.
And if a deadline is past - forget applying for it and move on to others - there are plenty and competition is fierce.
Our son is applying to 4 out of state colleges and 2 in state - but he KNOWS that unless anyone offers him a REALLY GOOD DEAL - out of state is not going to happen.
We're not beggaring ourselves, putting our retirement on the line or taking out a 2nd mortgage on the house (risking bankruptcy) to put him through school.
That being said - we've done a good job putting aside money for college - but he knows he's got to make that money stretch to get as much bang for the buck as he can.
He's got the SAT and ACT scores that are good enough that schools might compete a bit in recruiting him - so we'll just have to see what happens.
May 1 is decision day - it's coming up way too fast!

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answers from Boston on

Congratulations on her getting at least a couple of acceptances! I'm sure that's a relief.

My sense is that schools are not going to be too open to calls saying "We didn't know there was a requirement to apply." By college time, it's expected that students will read the instructions and that parents will supervise/double check. If they waive the deadline requirement for you, they will be pressured to do so for everyone. You can call and ask, but I wouldn't go to the trouble to just fill out the form and hope they don't notice that it's late. These frustrations occur, but that's the way the world works. Kids going to college aren't going to get extensions on everything as if they are 7th graders who messed up on a project.

Your best bet is to talk to each school's Financial Aid office about the financial package they are willing to offer. They know that your daughter will not accept until the numbers are compiled. They have the experts who are used to doing this and who are most in touch with what's "out there" - scholarships, federal student loans (Stafford, for example), grants, etc.

You should work with the high school to apply for local scholarships, from civic organizations and parent groups that sponsor scholarships in certain fields. You can get an updated list from her Guidance Counselor. Have you done that?

Did you fill out the FAFSA for federal student aid?

No one can tell you what another state's schools are going to offer. It depends on your daughter's grades as well as how much she balances out the incoming class they are trying to put together, how much diversity they are looking for (not just ethnic and religious, but regional/national). You just apply and see what they offer. Then you line up all your offers and tell your daughter what you can afford and what you can't. You explain it by saying "Sweetie, the University of ______ offered you X and Umass offered you Y, and I can only afford Y." The assumption is that she only applied to schools she would be happy to attend, so she's not going to be sent someplace she hates, right?

The time to evaluate Umass Boston's computer science program was before she applied, not now. But I think it's wise to evaluate more than one program at every school because kids often change their majors (and that's fine). She has to like a lot of aspects of each school, not just one major. What might be appealing to one student or be impressive to me might not mean it's a good fit for another student. It's very subjective anyway, plus we don't know anything about her abilities.

I don't know anything about any websites that offer scholarships - I can imagine that there are some out there that will charge you money and not necessarily offer much in the way of advice or honesty. I don't know of anyone in my son's classes who went to websites. They worked with the high school and the college's Financial Aid office. The Fin Aid office will help put together the total numbers, mixing in federal loans and grants and scholarships and everything else, so parents had one bottom line that said "You will have to pay ____ out of your own pocket now, and your daughter can pay back _____ after she graduates."

And DO put the loans in her name so that payback is based on her income, not your family income.

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answers from Atlanta on

Since you need information about specific schools and scenarios, your best sources will be the guidance counselor at her high school and the financial aid or admissions people at those specific institutions. There are too many particulars to your family's financial situation, your daughter's academic/career interests, and the schools involved for anyone else to give useful advice about specific schools. Even Diane B, who lives right in your area, can't say much about how a particular school will fit for you, so the rest of us are going to be even less helpful in that way.

I do think you've gotten some good suggestions from others about how to approach the question of how much you all can/will contribute to her college education. At the college where I teach, most of our students have jobs on and sometimes off campus campus, and they are attending a relatively expensive private school through work, generous scholarships, and a fair dose of loans. Naturally, I do think that it's worth it, not just based on the jobs they'll go into, but because we provide a good education overall. So, my answer to your question 4 would be 'it might well be worth it'... but only you, she, and your husband can decide that one.

Good luck with the process!

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answers from Dallas on

Fastweb ( is a great place to look for scholarships and to compare schools.

Good luck! I know it can be overwhelming. I have one in college and I teach high school, so I'm constantly discussing college and scholarship possibilities with teens. My son's goal is to graduate debt free, and I think he's going to be able to do it.

Encourage your daughter to apply for lots of scholarships, especially the ones that require essays. Many of those go unclaimed because students don't want to bother with writing.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Since you know where she has been accepted, your best bet is to call those institutions directly and ask what is available. You never know what kinds of scholarships colleges have. One of my siblings went to a school that had an endowed scholarship started by an alumnus that was only for left-handed students! Generic websites won't have this kind of information, but the school admissions office and/or financial aid office will.

And make sure you fill out your FAFSA early and get that in. Schools will determine your financial aid package based on that information.

As for how to explain: my parents did it this way. We sat down with all the financial aid offers when the came in the spring. They told me how much they were willing to contribute. And they said the rest was up to me. If I chose the more expensive school, I would have more loans. If I chose the less expensive school, I would have far less in loans. I was the one who would have to pay them off as an adult, so it was my choice.

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answers from Dallas on

The guidance counselor at her high school should be able to help you with various scholarships and deadlines.

Also talk to the financial aid office of the respective colleges.

As for out of state, that's up to you and your plan for what you are covering as far as her expenses.

We strongly feel it's our obligation to get our daughter out of college debt free and that did not change when my husband died.

She has received several academic scholarships with no applications through the business school at her university. Those are much appreciated and she knows every scholarship she gets is for her and if she's got leftover money in her college fund after grad school, she's already got a first step for her future children.

Congratulations on the acceptances and best wishes to your daughter!!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I think it's fair to say that the "first rule" of applying for financial aid is to look like you really need it. "Well, I'll be...the deadline to apply for that was six weeks ago?!" = not a sign of someone who "really needs it".

You and your daughter need to start NOW with a big paper calendar of any other upcoming deadlines. Hang it on a wall where you can both see it!

As for applying late - even if they would allow you to submit the form late, I think you would need to hope that they would delete the submission date before your paperwork gets reviewed! The late submission date could definitely be a "negative" to the people reviewing the paperwork and deciding how much money (if any) to give your daughter.

As for other scholarship resources - ask your daughter what her school has told her about that (and if she says "nothing", don't believe her...this is the girl who missed the Lowell date). Many/most high schools distribute financial aid information about available scholarships - make sure that you get any handouts that the school offers. If your daughter is involved with any extracurricular activities, find out what scholarships might be offered through those activities (for example, a scholarship offered by Kiwanis/Rotary/Lions Club if she is involved in the high school branches of any of those groups).

As for opinions on UMass Boston and going to school out of state - it is difficult to advise on those topics without knowing your daughter and her exact interests and situations.

Good luck with all of it!

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answers from Springfield on

She needs to talk to her high school guidance counselor. They should be exports on scholarships in your area. That person should also be able to let her know who to talk to at the colleges/universities about possible scholarships.

Going to a state school very often is the cheapest option, but that isn't always true. Some private schools will have lots of scholarship opportunities. Out of state schools could have some as well. You're not going to know until she applies for scholarships, finds out which ones she receives and you crunch the numbers.

I tend to believe that no college is worth going into debt. You need to decide how much you can afford to contribute and let that be part of the equation when deciding.

Start by having her talk to her guidance counselor. The questions you are asking are very important, and the guidance counselor is going to be a fabulous first resource for you.

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answers from Washington DC on

1) yes, call the college. they're going to be your best source of information.
but by definition, filling it out after the deadline has passed is likely to be a non-starter.
2) can't help you there. my kids did their own scholarship searches.
3) no clue.
4) i can't tell you whether it would be 'worth' it to send her out of state or not, there are too many variables in each individual situation. but as to 'how do i explain it to her?' i have to assume she's a reasonably intelligent young woman as she's already been accepted at several colleges. why do you think she's incapable of understanding a relatively simple discussion about finances?

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Don't wait for them to contact you. Get on the phone and speak to them today. Each school has an annual budget. Once they accept everyone those budgets are pretty much a done deal.

I suggest you sit down with THE financial aid person AT the school and go over possible alternative scholarships and student loans. If your income is such she might also be able to apply for financial aid too.

Our financial aid workers at OSU and at OU had a whole book of alternative scholarships we could look at. Some were private scholarships set up by people who'd lost a child and wanted to help another child go to college. One family lost their daughter and wanted to help a girl with red hair and brown eyes. Really. A natural redhead though, they made that clear. People have strange ideas when it comes to setting up their own foundation. It's their money so they can be as weird as they want I guess.

Going to the school and actually sitting down with a person is so much more eventful plus you can fill out the paperwork right then and hand it to the financial aid advisor. You can do so much more by going face to face.

If you can't go face to face then get in their ear and speak to them voice to voice. DO not wait for them. You need this done now so get going.

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