‘Tis the season for local scholarship award events! Senior year may be the only time in students’ lives where they obtain gifts of tens, hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.
Therefore, we have put together some tips to help your seniors manage the “what comes next” of receiving local scholarships.
- How and when: Students should become familiar with how the scholarship works. Some sponsors write a check payable to the student; other sponsors directly pay the campus. Some scholarships begin in the fall. Others begin next spring after the student submits a first semester grade report or proof of registration for second semester. The differences are important to note!
- Spreadsheet: Students might consider making a spreadsheet or developing another method to keep track of scholarship monies and details. The spreadsheet could include criteria as in the bullet above, along with deadlines for submitting additional documentation. Encourage students to add calendar reminders about deadlines.
- Future number crunching: More about that spreadsheet. The data it contains can be especially helpful when it comes time to fill out future taxes or the FAFSA. Remember to include columns containing the amount of each scholarship, and the date the sponsor disbursed the money.
- Address: If the sponsor’s process is to send the scholarship payment directly to the campus, make sure the sponsor knows the appropriate address. Search the campus’s website to find the address for the office that accepts student payments. It is often called the bursar’s or cashier’s office.
- Thank you: The sponsor has either given the student some money for college, or given the promise of money after the student fulfills expectations. That generous gift deserves a thank you note! Not a text, and hopefully not an email, but a hand-written note. It’s a heart-felt way to appreciate a special gift.
Following these tips is certainly not required. But it might make the transition to college a little easier in managing and organizing their newfound fortunes.