Academics » Scholarships and College Prep

Scholarships and College Prep

SCHOLARSHIPS

Scholarships are monies awarded by private foundations or schools. They are competitive and usually require an essay, letters of recommendation in addition to the application form. There are literally millions of scholarships available. Students should research and apply to as many as possible. Some students win scholarship money simply because they are the only person to apply.

At WNY Maritime our students also have the advantage when applying for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC ) scholarship. The ROTC scholarship is money offered to a student who wishes to serve in the military after they earn their degree. The student may receive full or partial tuition paid in return for their service after college.  ROTC students attend college like other students, but also receive basic military training and officer training for their chosen branch of service, through the ROTC unit at the college or university. The students participate in regular drills during the school year, and extended training activities during the summer. WNY Maritime has had many students receive such scholarships. The typical student who received an ROTC scholarship was in the top 20% in their class, had high SAT scores, and was very active in extra-curricular activities especially JROTC activities. 

Additional Information and Sources of outside Scholarships

- Parent's employers

 

- Professional Associations (such as medical, legal, engineering, accounting, etc)

- Community organizations such as Lions, Kiwanis, PTA, Church groups,YMCA, Chamber

- Visit local library for scholarship search guides

- Write to associations directly to ask if they offer financial assistance to students

- Most scholarships have deadlines by October, by March 15th 75% of deadlines have passed

- Many scholarships are for students already in college, not just for high school students

- Look on the college's web site for special scholarships that need applications.

- Some scholarships are available to students before their senior year

- Apply for at least 12 scholarships and pay attention to small, local awards

Strategies for Applying for Scholarships:

"Start early (your freshman year is not too early); search for scholarships (reference books, software, websites); Apply, apply, apply (the more you apply the better your chances); Plan ahead (it takes time to get transcripts and letters of recommendation); Be organized (keep copies of all application, information is often repetitive. Keep track of deadlines); Follow directions (you can easily be disqualified by deleting or filling out forms incorrectly or not having the proper signatures requested).

Although many scholarship sponsors and most scholarship search services are legitimate, schemes or scams that pose as either legitimate scholarship search services or scholarship sponsors have managed to cheat thousands of students and their parents. These fraudulent businesses advertise in campus newspapers, distribute flyers, mail letters and provide toll-free numbers, and have web sites. The most obvious frauds operate as scholarship search services or scholarship clearinghouses. Others set up a scholarship sponsor and pockets the money from the fees and charges that are paid and returns little, if anything to the applicants.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in Washington D. C., has a special educational campaign called "Project $cholarship" to confront this type of fraudulent activity.

The FTC warns students and their parents to be wary of fraudulent search services that promise to do all the work for you. "Bogus scholarship search services are much like the ‘you have won’ magazine prize-promotion scams targeted to students and parents. They guarantee students and their families free scholarship money...all they have to do to claim it is to pay an up-front fee."

The FTC warns scholarship seekers to be alert for these warning signs of a scam:

"This scholarship is guaranteed or your money back". Refund guarantees often have impossible conditions attached.

"The scholarship service will do all the work". Only the student can fill out the personal information forms, write the essays and supply the references that many scholarships may require.

"The scholarship will cost some money". True scholarship sponsors give out money, not make it form application fees.

"You can’t get this information anywhere else". What parents and students fail to realize is that they have access to all the same sources as the scholarship search companies.

"You are a finalist-in a contest you never entered," or "You have been selected by a national foundation to receive a scholarship". Most scholarship sponsors will only contact you in response to an inquiry.

"The scholarship service needs you credit card or checking account number in advance". These are never requested by legitimate sources.

Finally, no scholarship service can guarantee that a student will receive a scholarship.

*Taken from Get a Jump Ohip 2000 New Jersey; Peterson’s 1999

For more information about scholarship scams, contact The Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov to report a scam or call the National Fraud Information Center 1 800 876 7060.

*Good rule of thumb…NEVER PAY ANY MONEY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS!!!!! -Scholarships give money they do not take money. Frequently a student will be asked to write essays. They may be asked to have transcripts or report cards sent to them. But a legitimate scholarship foundation will never ask for money. If you are in doubt please call or speak to a counselor before sending any money or personal information to anyone.

 

College Scholarship Search Web Sites

www.thewashboard.org

Supposedly the best web site for scholarships in the Northwest 

www.scholarshipexperts.com

Financial aid scholarship search. Best results. 

www.srnexpress.com

Scholarship Resource Network Express for private scholarships 

www.discovernursing.com

Links to nursing scholarships 

www.gmsp.org

Gates Millennium Scholarship Program 

www.americorps.org

AmeriCorps national service program. Tuition assistance 

www.collegeboard.com

Selects colleges, fin aid info and scholarships and more 

www.finaid.org 

Everything there is to know about financial aid 

www.wiredscholar.com

Selects colleges, fin aid, scholarship search and more. 

www.petersons.com

Selects colleges, fin aid info and scholarships 

www.kaplan.com

Selects colleges, fin aid info and scholarships, testing 

www.universitytutor.com/scholarship-contest

Monthly essay contest for $1000 scholarship 

www.brokescholar.com

Scholarship search 

www.clubscholarship.com

Scholarship search 

www.collegenet.com

Scholarship search 

www.collegequest.com

Scholarship search 

www.colleges.com

Scholarship search 

www.fastweb.com

Scholarship search 

www.scholarships.com

Scholarship search

www.rotc.com

Scholarship search 

                                       

Other useful sites:
www.studentaid.ed.gov

www.collegeview.com

www.fastaid.com

www.scholarship-page.com

www.winscholarships.com

www.findtuition.com

www.scholarshipamerica.org

 

Financial Aid Information:

www.fafsa.ed.gov

www.ed.gov

www.hesc.org

 

Colleges in WNY

www.ecc.edu

Erie Community College 

www.buffalo.edu

University at Buffalo

www.buffalostate.edu

Buffalo State College

www.brockport.edu

Brockport State College

www.canisius.edu

Canisius College

www.fredonia.edu

Fredonia State College

www.geneseo.edu

Geneseo State College

www.sunyniagara.cc.ny.us

Niagara County Community College

www.niagara.edu

Niagara University

www.sbu.edu

St. Bonaventure University

www.daemen.edu

Daemen College

www.hilbert.edu

Hilbert College

www.villa.edu

Villa Maria College

www.trocaire.edu

Trocaire College

www.suny.edu

Other SUNY Schools

www.nycolleges.org

Private NYS Colleges

 

Military Career Information 

www.goarmy.com

US Army 

www.navy.mil

US Navy

www.marines.com

US Marines

www.airforce.com

US Airforce

www.uscg.mil

US Coast Guard

www.todaysmilitary.com

Military Career Guide Online

 

College Search Engines 

www.mycollegeguide.org

My College Guide 

www.collegenet.com

CollegeNET 

www.gocollege.com

Go College Searching 

www.collegeview.com

Collegeview 

www.collegeboard.com

College Search using Quickfinder 

www.petersons.com

Peterson’s Home Page 

www.collegeplan.org

The College Planning Web 

 

Preparing for College Calendar

Freshman Year (9th)

September-June

  • Start exploring and researching careers/colleges.
  • Listen to announcements and come to listen to colleges admission officers/ military/ Vocational persons speak.
  • Keep striving for the best grades.
  • Take part in extra-curricular activities.
  • Volunteer in the community.

 

SOPHMORE YEAR (10th) 

September 

  • Sign up to take the PSAT in October.

 October 

  • Take the PSAT.

November – June

  • Start exploring and researching careers/colleges.
  • Listen to announcements and come to listen to colleges admission officers/ military/ Vocational persons speak.
  • Keep striving for the best grades
  • Take part in extra-curricular activities.
  •  Volunteer in the community

 

JUNIOR YEAR (11th)

 September

  • Sign up to take the PSAT in October. (If you didn’t take it in 10th grade).
  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.

October

  • Take the PSAT.(If you didn’t take it in 10th grade).
  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.

November

  • Start thinking about what you want in a college, a career.
  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.

December

  • Plan to use your PSAT score report to prepare for the SAT.
  • Explore MyRoads with your code from the PSAT report and search for colleges and scholarships.
  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.

January

  • Begin to think about which college you would like to explore.
  • Get social security number if you do not have one (required on college applications).
  • Start researching scholarships
  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.

February

  • If interested in applying to a military academy begin the process. 
  • Take the ASVAB.
  • Continue researching colleges/scholarships.
  • Continue preparing for the SAT
  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.

March

  • Sign up for the SAT.
  • Write to colleges you are interested in or go online and evaluate literature sent to you.
  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.

April

  • Attend the National College Fair and get more information about colleges that interest you.
  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.

May

  • Take the SAT.
  • Take AP exams.
  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.
  • Ask teachers to write you a recommendation for college over the summer.
  • Look into summer jobs.

June/July/August

  • Visit colleges, take tours and have interviews.
  • Continue to refine your college list.
  • Write a draft of your personal statement and/or essay required by many colleges.

 

SENIOR YEAR (12th)

September

  • Keep working on your grades; most colleges will require mid-year grades.
  • Sign up for October SAT, November SAT, December SAT.
  • Review your personal record with your counselor to ensure the accuracy.
  • Ask teachers for recommendations if haven’t received at least three
  • Plan to visit colleges.
  • If interested in ROTC, obtain an application.
  • Meet with college and military representatives.
  • Start applying for scholarships
  • Start sending out your applications.
  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.

October

  • If applying for early decision apply now.
  • Sign up for November SAT, December SAT.
  • Meet with college and military representatives.
  • Start applying for scholarships.
  • Start sending out your applications.
  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.
  • Ask teachers for recommendations if haven’t received at least three.

November

  • Apply: you and one parent sign up for a PIN number at www.pin.ed.gov to file FAFSA online in January.
  • Sign up for December SAT.
  • Ask teachers for recommendations if haven’t received at least three.
  • Start applying for scholarships.
  • Sending out your applications. Must be turned in to the counselor by November 15th if the application deadline is December 1st. (Many college application deadlines are December 1st).
  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.

 December

  • File your last college applications.
  • ROTC application due.
  • Apply for scholarships.
  • If you applied for “early decision” you should have an answer.
  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.

January

  • File FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov
  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.

February/ March/ April

  • Listen to announcements to sign up for college field trips or come to listen to colleges admission officers speak.
  • Remember to monitor your applications to be sure that all materials have been received on time
  • Continue to search and apply for scholarships.
  • Do not catch Senioritis.

May

  • Take AP exams.
  • Notify your counselor of your final decision and college you are going to attend.
  • Notify your counselor of all scholarships you have received, even if you do not intend to use them.

June

  • June 1st is the deadline to fill out the FAFSA.
  • Enjoy graduation.
  • Request that your counselor send your final transcripts to your college.

July/August

  • Prepare for college. Many colleges will have summer programs.
  • Go to college, whether dorming or commuting. Most colleges start in August.