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6 steps to scholarships

Posted at 3:25 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 18:25:15-04

Applying to college can be confusing, and too many students don’t get the guidance they need. Students can stay on track with college planning through the College Board Opportunity Scholarships, thanks to a five-year $25 million investment by the College Board.

One million dollars each year will go to students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through the College Board Opportunity Scholarships. Completing the FAFSA is the gateway to unlocking student financial aid, and it’s one of the six steps in the College Board Opportunity Scholarships that gives students a chance at a $1,000 scholarship.

Even though next year may feel uncertain because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, completing the FAFSA as early as possible is crucial for all high school seniors, because some aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who join the College Board Opportunity Scholarships program can head to getfafsahelp.org [getfafsahelp.org], where Wyatt – a free, SMS-based chatbot will offer personalized, easy-to-understand guidance through the FAFSA process, 24/7.

The best part is, this is isn’t your typical scholarship program. It doesn’t require an essay or an application, and students don’t have to be at the top of the class. Students have to show that they are willing to work hard to take the necessary steps to get to college.

The key steps are: (1) Build a college list; (2) Practice for the SAT®; (3) Improve SAT scores; (4) Strengthen the college list; (5) Complete the FAFSA, the free government form to apply for financial aid; (6) Apply to colleges. Completing each step will earn students a chance for a scholarship ranging from $500 to $2,000; completing five steps will earn them a chance for $40,000 for their college education. Each year, 25 students will win the $40,000 Complete Your Journey scholarship.

Completing specific steps helps clarify the complex college planning process, especially for low-income and first-generation students. Already, more than 850,000 students from all 50 states have joined the College Board Opportunity Scholarships program since it launched in December 2018. The program is open now for the class of 2021, and will open to the class of 2022 in December.