In This Issue
Scholarship Sources
  The search for scholarships
 Scholarship Information
 Requesting scholarship information
 Matching Students and Scholarships
Matching scholarships with students
Scholarship Criteria
 The scholarship selection process
The Scholarship Application
Preparing the perfect application
Scholarship Decisions
Packaging your application for success

Material in Beyond High School is published quarterly by the nonprofit College Planning Network, Campion Tower, 914 E. Jefferson, Seattle, WA 98122, (206) 323-0624.

President and Editor: Douglas J. Breithaupt; Designer: Jeff McClard; Illustrator: Kiam Wright; Web Designer: Charlotte West.

Material may be reproduced with acknowledgment of the source.

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College Scholarships Attract New Money

What do you do if your personal wealth is more than you ever plan to spend? While this is a question that most people will never have to ask themselves, for the lucky few, a new trend has emerged. The answer for many with millions to spare is to start their own college scholarship foundation.

High profile money from dot.com and high-tech executives have certainly contributed to this trend. In Seattle, Portland and Spokane, new scholarship foundations are providing a growing source of money for college. At the same time, it's not just the mega-wealthy who have put their money into scholarships. Many working-class baby-boomers are deciding to 'give something back' by helping support higher education. While the reasons for this trend are varied, the primary motivation appears to be a genuine desire to make a difference in our society by leaving a legacy of scholarship support.

While these scholarships are a wonderful resource, it is important to review some of the realities of the scholarship process. Private scholarships are:

  • Funds for college that come from external to the college or university.
  • Mostly based on the student's merits (about 80% of private scholarships are merit-based).
  • The most difficult source of financial aid because students compete to receive awards.
  • Frustrating because on average, students receive only one out of ten for which they apply.
  • Critical for many families who will receive little or no need-based financial aid.
  • Often not considered by students who assume that high grades are always required.
  • Available to high school, college and adult students.
  • Easier to find today than ever before.

The remainder of this newsletter will discuss these realities in detail and provide you with a clear picture of the role private scholarships play in the financial aid process. The key with private scholarship is to begin collecting information as early as possible. The freshman year in high school is a good time to start. Once the student has been determined eligible for a specific scholarship, every effort must be made to provide the very best possible application. Students should leave themselves plenty of time to complete applications and have family, friends and education professionals review the application and offer constructive advice.