“I wish I knew” is a blog series from Cram Crew about the benefits of our College Readiness program for high school students (and how those services would have benefited us had it been available for our use)
By Tyler Segura
Attending college or a university can be expensive. The largest bill you will receive will be your tuition payments, essentially the payment that allows you to register and attend class. Beyond that, there are many costs people do not consider. You will have to pay for room and board, and you may consider purchasing a meal plan. You will also have to buy textbooks for your classes. The price for college adds up quicker than one would think. One academic year at the University of Texas costs $26,626 (source) whereas one academic year at Texas A&M costs $27,272 (source). You may notice that out-of-state residents pay even more than in-state residents. Private universities typically have a base rate. Baylor University could cost as much as $60,908 (source). SMU’s costs are at $66,484 (source).
However, the price of college is something that can easily be mitigated. Aside from financial aid and loans (which you will have to pay back typically accruing interest along the way), applying for scholarships is a great plan to reduce your overall costs. Scholarships do not need to be paid back. Someone or some organization is essentially giving you money to attend college because you showed initiative and ambition. Scholarship rewards can vary widely. Some may be as low a couple hundred of dollars per semester. Some may be so substantial that they can cover your tuition. Whatever the case, any scholarship money that you acquire is money that you did not previously have.
Our College Readiness team is here to help you write the best essays in hopes that you qualify for scholarship money. Included with our readiness packages are university based scholarship assistance. Third-party scholarship assistance will need to be purchased a la carte. Contact our client representatives at 713-464-2726 if you have any questions, or visit us for more information.
University Based Scholarships
University based scholarships are available through the universities that you are applying to. You may already qualify for this assistance based on your high GPA or your standardized test scores. There may be other scholarships available, such as if you write an essay or complete an application. To find these scholarships, search the university’s name and scholarships in any search engine. The first few results will be your best bet at finding these scholarships. Many universities will have a webpage dedicated to finding money for college. Some will even be so kind as to link to scholarships eligible to students studying in a particular state or other third party websites.
A La Carte
FastWeb.com, Scholarship.com, and CollegeData.com
These websites make the process of finding scholarships easy. Simply create a profile and you will be matched with scholarships that match the answers you have provided. Make sure to provide as much information as possible when filling out your profile. The more information you provide, the more scholarships you will be matched with. These scholarship websites will typically provide you with information regarding the scholarships as well: amount, requirements, deadlines, and more. Pay attention to all of the details, especially deadlines. You are working towards a goal, so make sure that you meet that goal.
Overall, the lesson is that you should apply for any scholarship that you qualify for. While that means more work and more essays, it will be worth it in the end. You will avoid taking on any substantial debt when you graduate. The money is out there; you just have to find it! Keep in mind that part of our College Readiness package is to help with university based scholarships and that any non-university scholarships can receive assistance through an a la carte purchase.