If you’re the parent of a high school senior this year, you likely have a freight train of soul-crushing bureaucratic busy-work heading your way, something that’ll test your patience and demonstrate just how much your child really likes you. It’s two words that fills the heart of every parent of older children with dread: College Applications.
Indeed, if Dante were to revise The Inferno I’m convinced that he’d add a new circle, bureaucratic paperwork. You know what I mean, the endless queue at the Department of Motor Vehicles, the forms that you filled out in triplicate just to have them rejected because you needed them in double-triplicate instead, and now need to start over?
College applications bring nuances all their own to this process with pages upon pages of little boxes to fill in about health, academic history, personal history, extra-curricular activities, languages spoken, instruments played, countries visited, involvement with charities, and likely blood type and shoe size too. Each college has its own spin on the process, of course, and most teens seem to want to apply to 5-10 colleges, so it’s really an unbelievable chore.
Smart parents push as much of this process onto their children as possible, but as the wry 2013 film Admissions reminds us, an error on the application can be the difference between your son or daughter making it into the college of their choice or ending up in Community College, wondering what happened to their dreams of pledging for a house and joining the co-ed frisbee golf team went.
But let’s really talk about the hardest part of having a child in college: cost. Modern college educations are crazy expensive and even if you’ve been saving up for little Susie or Johnny’s college education since they were four, you might burn through that money alarmingly fast, particularly if they’re heading to an Ivy League.
There are scholarships out there, thousands of them, but how do you know what’s available and what’s a good fit for your child with their quirks, interests, experience and desired field of study?
Fortunately there are some Web sites and services that can help you survive the insanity of searching through the pool of available scholarships, finding those that are a good fit and applying for ’em. One of the best goes by the wise name of ScholarshipOwl.
The basic idea is simple: you (or your child) fill out a master scholarship application form, then search through their ever-growing database of thousands of scholarships to find those that are a good match. Found some? Now it’s easy to apply because they’ll fill in all the forms (except essay questions, of course).
Oh, and if you’re stressed out about those college applications and essay questions, the site offers videos and lots of other helpful tutorial information on how to ace these requirements so that they help your child gain acceptance, not a drag that brings down an otherwise quite acceptable application.
I’ve gone through this process and it’s a nightmare, so the addition of ScholarshipOwl is a real blessing. If you’re poised to enter that circle of hell known as college applications, I encourage you to check out what Scholarship Owl has to offer in terms of helping your child get to the college of their choice, you pay for their education and you retain your sanity. All at the same time. Darn helpful!