Applying for Scholarships ..... How do I Start?
MyEducationQuest is a portal on EducationQuest’s website that will make it easier for students to access ScholarshipQuest and Activities Resume. This free database contains over 2,000 Nebraska-based scholarships. This site is a secure site and your personal information will be kept confidential.
- You will need an email address to log in to MyEducationQuest (https://www.educationquest.org/login/)
- If you don’t have one, check out free services such as Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail.
Be aware of scholarship and financial aid scams. Don’t pay for these services! Continue to be aware of the Chadron High School Counseling Center website, as this will include those scholarships not found at MyEducationQuest.
The Scholarship Process!
- Note the scholarship deadline – “Deadlines are deadlines!” Our Counseling Center also sets firm deadlines for signups, applications, nominations, etc. – organize your scholarships in deadline order.
- Determine whether you access the application on a) a web site, b) in the Counseling Center, or c) by sending away for the application.
- If you need a transcript, see Mrs. Larsen at least 3 days in advance. If a letter of recommendation is required, contact references (teachers, counselor, coach, employer, etc.) at least two weeks in advance. Give them a completed copy of your Student Information Summary Form and/or a personal resume and a stamped, addressed envelope(s) if directions ask for the letter of reference is to be mailed directly to the school or university.
- Complete all applications neatly, carefully and completely – type them/use the computer form whenever possible. NEVER fill out an application in pencil.
- Most scholarships require YOU to compile all needed information and mail before the deadline. If instructions state otherwise, let references know who receives their letter and when the letter of recommendation is due. We recommend that you make a copy of your application for your file before mailing.
- Questions: See your counselor.
Follow these tips to increase your chances of earning scholarships:
- Don’t pay for scholarship searches.Free scholarship search sites are available on the Internet including ScholarshipQuest at EducationQuest.org, which has over 2,000 state and local scholarships.
- Visit your guidance counselor weekly for information about local scholarships.
- Get organized. Place scholarship applications in deadline order and prioritize each award. Local awards and college-specific applications deserve top priority because you’re more likely to earn them.
- Continually update your activities, honors and volunteer or paid jobs using the Activities Resume at EducationQuest.org.
- Earn the best possible ACT/SAT scores bytakingthe exam in the spring of your junior year and again in the fall of your senior year.
- Use quality references such as a teacher, coach or counselor. Encourage them to write specific examples of your leadership skills. Give them advance notice and a specific deadline.
- Get an early start on essays. Describe your interests, hopes for the future, and leadership abilities.
- Pay close attention to grammar, spelling and neatness. Ask at least two people to proofread your application.
Some applications for admission and scholarship applications require letters of recommendation. Be sure you give the writers at least 2 weeks notice and provide them with the Student Information Summary Sheet to help them write a more personal letter. Reminder: Any application with a January 1 deadline must be in the hands of the counselor two weeks prior to the winter break.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Aid)
Federal financial aid provides both need and non-need based aid, and it’s the largest source of aid used by students and parents to pay college expenses. To apply for aid you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after January 1 of your high school senior year and reapply each year you are in college. Start a Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
You may go to www.pin.ed.gov at any time to register for your PIN. Your PIN serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records.
Visit their web site at www.educationquest.org or call 475-5222 for more information.
FAFSA Made Easy
EducationQuest Foundation has partnered with Nebraska Educational Television to produce a humorous and comprehensive overview of how to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This brand new 10-minute “webisode” is designed to calm some of the fears high school seniors and their families have when completing the FAFSA. Check out The FAFSA Made Easy video athttp://www.educationquest.org/flashvideo.asp.
Worried About Paying For College?
In these tough economic times when more and more students and families are worried about how to make ends meet, paying for college can seem like an impossible burden. Let us tell you about a few ways to help ease the strain. There are many programs available based on the income requirements for free or reduced lunch/breakfast at school. Even if your son or daughter has no intention of eating at school once a family qualifies, other options open up. Be sure to notify your school counselor and we can help you with the application process for free or reduced lunch. If your family already qualifies, let your counselor know so we can help connect you with programs like these:
ACT or SAT Fee Waiver—to cover the basic cost of taking the ACT or the SAT. Students can receive two waivers through ACT. For the SAT program an eligible student would be entitled to use fee waivers to cover the cost of two SAT registrations and two SAT Subject Test registrations. Waivers are available only through counselors, so please work with your counselor well ahead of the test deadline.
Waiver of College Application Fees—colleges/universities will frequently waive or reduce the application fee for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. Again, work with your school counselor to request this well ahead of the deadline for the admissions application.
ACE Scholarship—pays tuition and mandatory fees for qualified, low-income high school students to enroll in college courses from Nebraska’s colleges or universities, either through dual-enrollment or early enrollment agreements with these institutions. School counselors can help you obtain the application needed.
Nebraska State College Advantage—first-time students who qualify for Pell Grants (based on information from the FAFSA—Free Application for Federal Student Aid) will pay no tuition at Chadron, Peru, and Wayne State Colleges.
College Bound Nebraska—students who qualify for Pell Grants pay no tuition at the University of Nebraska. Some families don’t qualify for Pell but might still qualify for full-tuition assistance because of other factors (generally a family of four with one student in college and income of less than $45,000).
The Services of EducationQuest—on the web ateducationquest.org—are available to all students and families free of charge. They provide assistance with college information and scholarship searches and they will even help you file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Use their resources to help make college a reality for students in your family.