A new college student smiles on campus after her parents encouraged her to apply for scholarships to attend her dream university.

Encouraging Your Child to Apply for College Scholarships

Since tuition rises faster than inflation, many parents need help funding their kids’ college education. College scholarships are an excellent way to obtain money for college without having to worry about repayment and interest rates. If you feel scholarships are a necessary component of sending your child to college, try these tips for communicating this to your child.

What facts and information concerning college scholarships should you tell your child?

You should encourage your child to apply for merit and non-merit-based scholarships. It can be somewhat delicate to explain to a child why a family may qualify for a need-based scholarship; however, this is something that can be touched on lightly without weighing your child down with all of the details. Do not burden your child with the politics of college scholarships or put pressure on the child by discussing financial information that has nothing to do with them.

Encourage your student to start thinking about scholarships early. The best time to apply for scholarships is during the senior year of high school. As a senior, your student may feel overwhelmed by their homework load already, but it's important to stress making time for their future. Many scholarships require that the applicant be a high school senior, although there are some that students who are currently enrolled in college are also eligible for. There are many websites that you and your student can use to find the best scholarships for seniors.

The best way to present college scholarships to your child is as another challenge to overcome. Have the child think of it as extra credit in school rather than as a necessity. This will relieve the pressure and help the child focus on the actual work rather than the ramifications of possibly not receiving a scholarship. In addition, communicate to your child that scholarships are something to be proud of receiving and that it can greatly improve their college experience.

Why should parents encourage their students to apply for scholarships?

Most families are on a budget, and a college scholarship can expand your student’s higher education possibilities. However, there are many other reasons that it’s important to apply for college scholarships. While they provide money for college, scholarships also look good on resumes as students look for internship and employment opportunities.

Many parents choose to use the college scholarship application process as the first adult responsibility for their child. It is a great way to introduce a child to some of the financial responsibilities of adulthood without going overboard. The child will learn about the programs and have some indication of the costs of tuition and room and board throughout the process.

Encouraging your child to apply for college scholarships increases the chances of your family being able to send him or her to a good university, and they can relieve a substantial amount of financial stress while you support your child through school. In addition, it gives your student a sense of financial independence as they transition into the adult world.