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Feta's avatar

Should I be applying for scholarships now?

Asked by Feta (930points) January 19th, 2014

I thought I had another year because I’m only a junior, but my English teacher told us that we need to start applying for scholarships and applying for college right now or we’ll miss the boat.
I plan to apply to NYU as my sort of “reach” school, but the one I REALLY want to go to. Their application deadlines are like April, but that’s for if I was going to attend college in August/September right?
Early consideration is November, and that’s what I was shooting for.

But I’m concerned about the scholarship thing…I only took the ACT for the first time in December because my parents didn’t understand that I need to take it more than once, including during my Junior year.
I scored a composite of 26 because I hadn’t had a math class in a year and only made a 17 on the math portion :(

I KNOW I can do better. I’m going to try to make a 32–34 next time. However, there are only two more test dates before August and my teacher said the absolute last time I should take it is over the summer…and even that’s pushing it. But if I need to be applying now for scholarships…I don’t want to use the 26??!!

I’m also worried because I haven’t taken the SAT and I don’t know if I need to submit both the SAT and ACT scores for college?

I’m also not even sure where to apply for scholarships now because they only help with scholarships at my school if you’re a senior.


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7 Answers

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

Once you apply to a school and get accepted, then you should apply for a scholarship. After all, what’s the sense of applying if you don’t get accepted? Most schools will tend to look at your overall grades since test scores such as SAT and ACT are being more and more de-emphasized (if there is such a word) by schools with your overall grades (GPA) and activities being more important. And, I know it sounds ridiculous, but schools are also looking at such things as your Facebook page and activity on social sites to insure you’re the type of student they want matriculating at their institution.

As to the math scores – try to find a college with a good Liberal Arts program and try to get in there. Liberal Arts schools don’t emphasize Math as much as some others. I had the same problem – and 50 years later, I still can’t add 2 and 2 and come up with the correct answer – but I enrolled at a school with a strong Liberal Arts leaning, continued on after I got my Bachelor’s and now teach at a major university. However, a strong emphasis is being placed on Math more and more these days so it might be a bit more difficult to find a school that emphasizes the Liberal Arts (fields such as History, English, Theatre, Communications, Music and so on). They are out there – but it will be up to you to find them.

Good Luck!

Seek's avatar

This will probably be modded as “Not helpful” but it utterly sickens me that we put this kind of pressure on 16 year olds.

YARNLADY's avatar

You need to discuss your options with a school counselor. There are many different kinds of scholarships, some offered by private companies or service clubs and some by the school or state you will be attending.

livelaughlove21's avatar

It’s too early. You don’t need to apply for anything until the Fall of your senior year. You should be thinking about it now, but that’s it.

glacial's avatar

Although you won’t be applying until your senior year, your English teacher has a point in that you should start preparing for this. Everything you learn about scholarships will be transferable, so you can change your mind a dozen times about what you want to study and where, and still use things you learn about the process. Don’t feel like learning about scholarships is being put under pressure to make decisions about your future.

Every funding body has a different application deadline, so you’ll have to look at each one’s website to determine when to apply. You should probably download an application or two to try to fill them out. They take a long time, and shouldn’t be left until the last minute – and this process will help you figure out if you need to get some things done now while there’s still time. Also, and this is very important, you will need to request a handful of reference letters from your profs. Figure out which ones would make good contributions to your application, and work on being noticeable to them, so that when you ask them for a letter, they’ll know who the heck you are.

The difficulty at your age is figuring out who is offering money for your program and for your special circumstances and whether you have a shot at it. If your high school is not offering any help, consider contacting the financial aid office at the school you want to apply to – ask the receptionist if there is anyone you could sit down and talk to about what your choices are. If not, ask if she knows the answer to any of your questions (have a list ready). But before you do any of this, read the information on their website. It’s there to answer the questions most people ask, and it will help you narrow down your list of questions for people when you finally reach someone.

Keep in mind that a lot of scholarship funding bodies do not care whether you know where you will be going to study, but they still ask. In these cases, you end up having to make up a plan – but it is not necessarily something that you will be locked into. So, if you’re applying for a scholarship and are not sure where you will be accepted yet, find out if you can change your major or your school once you get the scholarship. Usually, the answer is yes.

The school you apply to will have a long list of scholarships (actually the one from NYU is shorter than most I’ve seen) that pertain only to that school or that region, so look through these also. Often, these are things that you only apply to after you’re accepted, or only in specific years of university, but not always. They are a royal pain in the ass to read through, and there isn’t a better way (unfortunately) of figuring out which apply to you, so just do it.

There will be other lists in other places (sometimes different types of agencies collect these on websites for students’ perusal), so keep your eyes open.

Above all, don’t panic if once you’ve started the application process, you find it all too much to keep up with right away. In most fields, you can apply again the next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. But wanting scholarship money to appear, poof, the day you start school is only possible if you’re working on it a year ahead of the day you start school. That’s just how it is. The application process, once it starts, will feel like a full time job. You’ll wonder how you have time for it, but you will find it, and everyone else around you is going to be in the same boat, so you’ll have someone to commiserate with.

Good luck!

pleiades's avatar

Always always always apply. It’s good practice and it’ll eventually become second nature

pleiades's avatar

And you want this second nature down

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