Parents only want what is best for their children. The same is true when they are researching the college admissions process and figuring out how they can help their students pay for college. You did not encourage your child to study for those tests, wake up early to eat a healthy breakfast or taxi your child to countless sporting events without reason—you had a plan the entire time: To support your child’s education and get them into their dream school.
While the cost of college may seem overwhelming, you can encourage your child to apply for scholarships. This will not only help to lower the total amount of student loan
debt and secure a more stable financial future for them, but it also promotes diligence; a life skill all parents want their children to have.
Whether it is one or several, college scholarships can help cover the costs of your child’s education and set them up for a more stable financial future.
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We are covering the top 10 frequently asked questions parents ask about scholarships. Here is what you need to know:
Different from our days of searching through catalogs of scholarships, Fastweb is the leading scholarship database for United States students and their parents. Your student will have access to up-to-date scholarships—all vetted by our research team.
Fastweb’s scholarship-matching algorithm simplifies the scholarship search process. It is free to create a Fastweb profile. Using profile identifiers such as student activities, clubs, military family, GPA, state of residence, interests, intended major, school year, and more, your child will be matched to scholarships that fit him/her.
- My child needs help paying for college. How can Fastweb help him/her?
Free scholarship matching eliminates the need to sift through thousands of scholarships, one by one. However, you can certainly dig through our database if you prefer this method.
Being a student is a full-time job; it takes a lot of time and work. One of the last things you or your child wants to do is spend time looking for the perfect scholarships to apply for. Once a Fastweb profile has been created, you and/or your child will get email notifications of new scholarship matches you should consider applying for as well as scholarship deadline reminders.
In addition, our scholarship database provides helpful articles related to all aspects of financial aid. Including valuable information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), student loans, grants, and more.
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Your student should begin to create a scholarship application habit in their second year of high school. This is a great opportunity to get ahead of the game and familiarize themselves with the scholarship application process. Students as young as 16 can create a Fastweb profile!
Unfortunately, many American students do not begin applying for scholarships until their junior year of high school. The last two years of high school are the busiest years for college-bound students; students not familiar with the process tend to feel overwhelmed. Typically, the first major task dropped for these students is the scholarship application process.
- When should my child start applying for scholarships?
A big misconception is that the scholarship application process ends when a student graduates high school. This is NOT TRUE.
There are thousands of scholarships for college students and graduate students, too!
- My child is a college student. Are scholarships for college students available?
Applying for $500, $100 and even $50 scholarships are absolutely worth applying for. Think of each scholarship win as a deposit in your child’s Scholarship Piggy Bank. Every award adds up.
According to Educationdata.org, a student attending an in-state, four-year college is “$396 per credit hour” on average. A $500 scholarship could cover the cost of at least one credit hour of college. Winning two $500 awards could cover the cost of a full college course at the same college.
The more scholarships your child applies for, no matter the amount, the more chances of winning. Another compelling reason to apply for scholarships with lower amounts is the smaller applicant pools these scholarships usually have. A $20,000 scholarship tends to steal the spotlight of a scholarship with a lesser amount. More students will apply for a larger valued scholarship; these have a lot more competition.
- Is it really worth applying for $500 scholarships?
There are a variety of scholarship types.
Scholarships provided by a college or university are often labeled institutional scholarships. These can be merit-based and don’t take an individual's financial need into account.
Academic and merit scholarships are based on a student's academic performance. These are often awarded based upon GPA, class rank, test scores, and salutatorian or valedictorian statuses.
Athletic scholarships are highly competitive and awarded to students involved in all types of sports. These merit scholarships are often initiated by a student’s coach or a college seeking a particular student based upon their athletic and academic abilities.
Private scholarships have many subcategories of their own. These scholarships could be provided by employers, private companies, community organizations, and more. They may focus on creativity, be essay-based, or even be a scholarship sweepstake.
Private scholarships may include themes such as scholarships for women, STEM scholarships, scholarships for African American students or minority students. Private scholarships can also be based upon unique or weird circumstances, community service, extracurricular activities, and more.
Military scholarships can be both private and/or institutionally based. These are not just for students currently serving in the military. If a family member has served in the armed forces, military scholarships also exist for children and spouses of active-duty members or veterans.
Visit our National Scholarship Directory to sift through all sorts of scholarship categories.
- What types of scholarships are available for my child?
Your child can apply for scholarships as often as he or she would like. There’s no specific timeframe, however, it’s best to create a scholarship application goal and stick with it. We recommend setting weekly or monthly scholarship application goals.
The point is to create a scholarship application cadence that works best for your student. Remind them that the more scholarships they can apply for, the better their chances at winning and earning multiple awards.
- How often should my child apply for scholarships?
Only apply for scholarships from trusted sources. There are scholarship scams you don’t want your child to fall victim to. Your student should never have to pay to look for or find scholarships; avoid these costly scams!
Fastweb has a team of researchers that investigates each scholarship before it makes it to our database. Each scholarship in Fastweb’s scholarship directory has been vetted. It’s free to use Fastweb to look for scholarships and to create a profile.
- Where should my child apply for scholarships?
It’s a great idea to be involved in the scholarship application process as a parent. Just ask! There’s no way to know if your child has applied for a particular scholarship. Support your child by following up on the status of scholarships that interests him/her.
When they have successfully applied for a scholarship, offering kudos will position them to keep you in the scholarship loop.
- How do I know if my child applied for scholarships?
Discuss your child’s college plans with community leaders and organizations. Networking is a great way to uncover scholarship opportunities within your region or local community.
Some businesses also offer scholarships for the children of employees, too. If you have a favorite brand or service you use, check their website or emails for scholarship announcements.
- Who can I talk to about scholarships for my child?
Many students win scholarships via our site! It’s up to a student to share the news of their winnings with us. For those students that do reach out to share their good news, we proudly post their stories on our Winners Page.
Fastweb is a scholarship database; we provide United States students and families with a comprehensive list of trustworthy scholarship opportunities. We even award Fastweb scholarships, such as our monthly, Invite-a-Friend Sweepstakes.
- Do students win scholarships at Fastweb?