Homeschoolers and Colleges Part 2 ( Paying for School)
by Jean Burk

Applying to colleges can sometimes seem like climbing Mount Everest; the process is long, and hard like climbing Mount Everest; the process is long, hard, and there’s always the chance of mortal danger. When you finally reach the top, you realize your journey is only the beginning. Now that you’ve made it in, you’ve got to figure out how to pay for it, which can often seem harder.

Continuing education beyond high school can be an expensive endeavor; however there are several resources that can help with the financial obligation that accompanies college.. Like standing atop a mountain, a college degree can give students a broad perspective on the world and open up amazing opportunities for graduates, both financially and personally. Although it may seem scary, finding financial assistance does not have to be a daunting task it will take some effort to search for scholarships to fund this journey, but getting free money for college is certainly worth the time spent.

The scholarship search should begin early, even in the freshman year of high school. Before you begin your hunt for scholarships, open up a separate email account exclusively for college information and scholarship websites. This way you can keep track of the entire process. Then, you will want to write a profile about yourself. When you fill out the forms, you will already have a framework to help you write your essays or answers specific application questions.

Scholarship opportunities are abundant and one of the greatest resources today for scholarships is the Internet. Start your college scholarship search by going to sites like,, and . Do not only search for large scholarship and overlook the small ones. Smaller scholarships often have less competition and winning several different ones can really add up.

Apply to as many scholarships as you can. The contests can be like a numbers game in the sense that you may have to apply for a lot just to receive one—but that one might be exactly what you need to help pay for your school. Make it your job to search for them frequently because many are offered year-round. Keep yourself organized by updating your spreadsheet of contest searches and the application status of each one.

Scholarship searches are not the only way to get free money to pay for school. Preparing for the standardized tests may be the most beneficial part of this journey because high test scores can yield big scholarship money. Students who make studying for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT a priority can be rewarded with insanely large scholarships. A substantial portion of all financial aid is awarded based on academic merit. The higher the test scores, the more money you can receive from a college. Students who receive high test scores can generally expect anywhere from a couple thousand dollars in scholarship money to full-rides to the colleges of their dreams.

A college journey free of financial worry is ideal. Imagine not incurring long-lasting debt or having to pay back any money. College can be an adventure within reach for just about anyone, regardless of his or her financial situation. There are many ways students can receive funding for higher education as well as even receive a college education for almost nothing. With enough time and preparation, by the time you reach the mountain of college entrance, you can stand at the peak and see the wonder and beauty of opportunities before you instead of gazing upon the terror that accompanies the great depth of a bottomless debt.

Jean Burk is the author of College Prep Genius and has written numerous articles about the SAT and PSAT/NMSQT. She has been featured as an SAT expert on Good Day Dallas (Fox 4) and KXAS (NBC 5 Today). She currently travels and speaks about the importance of college preparation, how to get free college and teaches her “Master the SAT” Prep Class all over Texas as well as other states. Both her children received incredible scholarships because of their PSAT and SAT scores. Her teaching DVD was released in the summer of 2008. The first edition of her brand new VocabCafé Book Series, “The Summer of Saint Nick” is now out. These books are intended to help teenagers and younger children increase their knowledge of SAT-level vocabulary words.