Surviving College – The Search for Scholarships!

Shefali Kumar, Assistant Editor

Calling all seniors applying for colleges! If you’re worrying about the financial burden that can come with college, there are plenty of opportunities to apply for scholarships that will make attending college more affordable. Seniors can begin their search for scholarships as early as September, although there are opportunities available throughout the year. Hopefully, most students have the majority of their applications out by winter and spring so they can begin to focus on applying for scholarships and financial aids.


There are scholarships available for all types of students. There are two categories of financial aid: need-based and non need-based. Need-based financial aid can include scholarships, grants, loans, and campus employment. The non-need based scholarships usually are awarded on merit based on academic and athletic excellence or special ability in the areas of art or music. There are also scholarships available based on community service, pursuing a certain major, or being from a certain background.


There are several ways for students to begin their search for scholarships. Mr. Roman,  Morris Hills guidance counselor, encourages students to “explore multiple avenues.” Guidance recommends two scholarship “search engines:” and  There is also a list of scholarships that go through the Morris Hills Guidance Department that are available at: Additionally, local scholarships are available on the Guidance Department website starting on March 1st of senior year. There will also be a Grade 12 Financial Aid Night for students and parents who would like more information on December 1st. Lastly, Guidance encourages students to check for scholarship opportunities from their college (once they know where they are attending), their parent/guardian’s place of employment, and any extracurricular activities that they are a part of inside and outside of school.


The first step in applying for need-based aid is filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), located at, after January 1 of  senior year. For other scholarships, students should read the directions on how to apply.  If they need a copy of their transcript or any letters of recommendations on file, they will need to fill out a Scholarship Transcript Request form, which is available in the Guidance Office.
And finally, as Mr. Roman describes the process of applying for scholarship, “The more work that you put in, the greater the chance of receiving scholarship monies. Also, you should never have to pay to apply for or receive a scholarship, so beware of scams that ask you to do that!”