November is National Scholarship Month

National Scholarship MonthIt’s never too early to start thinking about how to pay for college.

Paying for college is a costly endeavor.  Figuring out how to pay for college can be confusing and difficult.  While student loans must be paid back, scholarship money can pay for tuition and fees directly and does not have to be paid back.  A scholarship reduces the amount of loans and out-of-pocket expenses you must pay.  Therefore, scholarships are the best answer for many students.

The good news is that scholarships are easier than ever to find and apply for thanks to online tools that can connect students to billions of dollars’ worth of funds.  There are scholarships out there for everyone!  You can find scholarships for being left handed, good at soccer, art, or just for being tall! 

Florida has its own unique state scholarship funded by the Florida Lottery.  The Florida Bright Future’s scholarship is based on a student’s courses, grade point average, test scores, and volunteer hours.  More information can be found here.

Seniors, please note that the 2015-16 application will open on December 1, 2015.

Here are some tried and true tips to help you with your scholarship search:

Apply early and often.  There are scholarships out there for students in elementary school!  You can also still apply for scholarships after you’ve graduated high school and are in college!  Set aside time to search and apply regularly!

Be aware.  There are many places you can apply for scholarships, however, be aware of scams.  You should never have to pay to find or earn a scholarship!

Monitor deadlines.  Scholarships are incredibly strict with deadlines so monitor your progress closely to ensure you complete and submit on time every time.

Review it twice.  The surest way to be looked over is to send an unedited application.  Be sure to review your application for typos and grammatical errors.

Look in your own backyard.  Check out alumni clubs, community groups, and religious organizations in your local area. While these scholarships have smaller prizes, they are often the easiest to win and add up quickly.

Use online tools.  There are tons of resources to make your search easy and productive. Use them.  Here are a few to begin with:

Celebrate National Scholarship Month and join us for our upcoming counselor webinars to learn more about paying for college and college entry:

College Admission 101: A Student’s Perspective

Have you wondered how to find the perfect place to volunteer? Does the thought of college applications strike fear into your heart? Do you know how to write a great scholarship essay? If you ever had any of these questions, this presentation is for you! The FLVS School Counseling Team and FLVS Senior, Talia Fradkin, will walk you through the basics, give tips and tricks, and answer any questions that you may have about the college admission process from the student perspective! Talia has earned the FLVS Student of the Year Award, FLVS Community Service Award, and was just awarded the national 2015 Nordstrom Scholarship! Join us on Thursday, November 12 at 7pm EST at  for an awesome presentation to get you prepared and on your way to your future!

Financial Planning for College

Special guest, Lori Auxier-Hash, Outreach Director with Florida Office of Student Financial Assistance, will present information on the Bright Futures scholarship program, Pell grants, FAFSA, and other sources of funding for college. Login at on Thursday, November 19 at 10am EST.  This session will be recorded if you are unable to attend. 

Scholarship Resources

Cappex Scholarships
College Board Scholarship Search
College Scholarships
Fast Web Scholarship Search
Scholarship Experts
Scholarship Search
Florida Bright Futures
Sallie Mae
Federal Student Aid

Amy LaGrastaAmy LaGrasta, Flex School Counseling Senior Manager, helps students make informed decisions about courses, career and college options, and the study habits needed for online success. Prior to joining FLVS, she served as the guidance director at Estero High School in Lee County, FL where she was honored with the Teacher of Distinction award.

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