Scholarship ApplicantLike Federal Financial Aid, you’ll find many options when it comes to scholarships for your IT-oriented child. Your child might qualify partly based on financial need, academic merit or because of a unique skill, ability or interest they possess.  You can find trusted scholarship search sites, government resources, and your child’s college or university as you and your child explore scholarship options.

While full-ride scholarships are understandably popular, more modest scholarships can be more realistic to obtain.  Your child doesn’t need perfect grades, although a baseline grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 can be required for consideration.  There are a number of ways your child might qualify for a scholarship, and any number of factors could contribute in appealing to a scholarship granting or awarding organization. Don’t think your child can’t qualify, think “how can my child qualify.”  And, include your child in this process; it’s essential. Ultimately, you might be surprised to discover the many different kinds of scholarships that exist.

Benefits of Scholarships:

  • A reduced cost of your child’s college tuition (and sometimes, books and housing as well). Less time spent worrying about money will mean that your child can spend more time studying and preparing for their future IT career
  • Recognition: A scholarship sets your child apart from their peers. Documenting a scholarship on a resume when seeking out an IT position highlights your child’s unique abilities; abilities that were strong enough for a higher education to consider your child, and eventually, their graduate’s educational and unique contributions important and beneficial to the institution.
  • Self-esteem: Your child will probably gain a lot of confidence receiving a scholarship.

Some Trustworthy Scholarship search sites

  • College Scholarships.org has a page devoted just to IT internships. Unlike most dot com sites, no registrations or survey-taking is required
  • Fastweb is a popular site, perhaps because of the sheer volume of scholarships it offers. Registration is required
  • Scholarships.com is another free site that allows you to search scholarships by “major,” “state” and “type.”
  • Federal Student Aid Use the search bar at this government site to search for scholarships related to information technology or computer science
  • Your child’s college/university website will be another critical place to search for scholarships

Tackling the Application Process

Once you and your child have located and discussed the requirements for a set of scholarships, you can begin the application process.

Here are some additional tips to help your child increase their chances of winning a scholarship:

  • Make sure your child writes an essay that’s personal and unique. If you can, encourage them to choose a topic that’s close to their hearts. If a topic is already chosen, help them find an angle that will make them stand out from their peers.
  • Follow directions to a T. The school, foundation or agency you’re asking for a scholarship from is offering you free money.  For this reason you’ll need to comply exactly with their directions.
  • Review your child’s application and essay, and get a teacher or knowledgeable third party to review it as well.
  • Watch out for any typos, misspellings or other errors in your child’s essay or other application materials.

Beware of Scams

Don’t use sites that charge a fee for their services. Never have your children (under the age of majority, and check state and federal laws for the exact age – between 18 and 21) enter information that you have not screened and approved.  Your child should not agree to an upfront fee to apply for a scholarship. There are plenty of free resources available to find scholarships, and many sites and programs that do charge fees prove to be scams.