My dd is only a freshman but kinda thinking ahead here... Has or had your teen gotten a free ride with a scholarship in a sport or academically. Is this possible or rare? Are most scholarships given through the school or applied for? How have parents found out about them or did you find out through your teen, etc?
My nephew was ranked number 2 in his class. He had 2 full rides. He turned them down to go to a private school. He has a nice scholarship but it paid maybe just over half his tuition.
My dd goes to a private school. Top academic scholarships there pay for about 3/4 of tuition. She got the lowest academic scholarship but it is something. Room and board seems to be rarely covered. Sometimes there is some room and board help.
I got a "free ride" with a combination of need (my parents were poor) and decent grades (3rd in a class of 18) and an SAT of 710/800. I needed a student loan and a job for my living expenses and child support for my baby (who lived with my parents).
A guidance counselor's job (if your school has one) is to help find what's available. The most motivated person to find a scholarship is hopefully the parent. My math teacher told me where to look on the web and there was my pot of gold.
I'm looking into all of that now. My son has a great GPA, but wants to re-take his SAT and his ACT to get better scores. He also is signing up at NCAA for football and/or wrestling. So that is also an option if your child excels in sports. Other scholarships can be found on Cappex or other websites devoted to scholarships. Good luck!
The university my attends has academic scholarships that top out at around $20,000, which is about half the cost of tuition. She has a very good friend that received no academic scholarship to MIT, because they do not exist, but got one of the very few full ride scholarships to our flagship state university. It may have helped that he is also a varsity athlete. The other 4.0 students in the same school received little to no schoarsips to the same school.
My nephew did receive a full ride scholarship, tuition only, to a low tier private college. His SAT profile helped to raise their statistics.
My daughter received several half or more ...not full ride to several small private colleges due to being third in our region for golf.She accepted slightly smaller scholarship to go to school that had a better B.S.N. program.She also was a very strong student so I think the combo worked for her.
My oldest received a full ride to law school at one top 20 ,a half ride at a better ranked law school and a full ride plus very nice yearly stipend at a top 40.He had graduated with high honors from undergrad and made all A's while earning his Masters.These were an academic merit scholarship.
Top schools do not give out scholarships of any kind, period. They do provide financial aid to those who quailify, aka poor and disenfranchised.
Second and third tier schools may or may not provide academic/athletic scholarships. It all depends on their situation, i.e. how much you are needed to fill their void.
Those schools who offer a full scholarship to their applicants are motivated to use these applicants to boost up their image, ranking, etc.
Hubby never received one penny from any of his schools (MIT and Columbia Med.), and he graduated at the top of his classes, too. I, on the other hand, received a scholarship that paid half of my tuition for the prestigious graduate program, in which I had applied. My scores and grades were good but not stellar. I never applied for any assistance but the school thought to give it to me. That was a nice surprise. :)
We don't expect our kids to receive any money for their college of their choice. If they do, then it is wonderful.
Our oldest, now 26, had 3 full ride offers. 2 of them were from good public universities, one was from a smaller private university. They were based on her academic performance. She was not the Valedictorian or salutatorian, but she had above a 4.0 in a large school, won a merit scholarship, scored very well on the SAT and was the the County wide high scorer on a combined matrix which included PSAT, SAT, and AP Test scores for Math, Science, English and History. She chose the Public university that my husband happens to teach at, because this offer included tuition, books and room and board. My husbands benefits, allowed her to receive a 50% discount on tuition and fees so she ended up making money to go to school, which we allowed her to keep. She also worked while she was in school, because she is a hard working girl. She maintained her grades, kept her scholarships, and was accepted into Medical school where she received some scholarships but not enough to pay for it all having that extra money meant that she did not have to borrow any where near as much as many of her peers.
My son is now a senior and we are going through this all again we will see what happens with him. His test scores are higher, but he is not a female looking to go into a male dominated field.
My oldest is going through full tuition+. He was offered a full ride to our local school plus some spending money. We are in KY and there is a state school called Gatton Academy that if you keep a certain GPA guarantees certain scholarships. Same here with the Governors Scholar programs. Each school has a different offer but if you are in one of the programs and maintain a certain GPA it's a guaranteed scholarship.
Each university has additional competitive academic scholarships you can apply for. School counselors should be able to help. Additionally google searches and the financial aid office at the school you are applying to can help.