Locating University-Based Merit Scholarships

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SWBAT list up to five potential scholarships (from their "accepted schools"), and they will begin the process of narrowing their personal list to focus on one scholarship application for a class requirement.

Big Idea

... it's time to find some college money - the goal is one semester's worth of "book money" ...

Introduction and Context

10 minutes

This lesson is the second in a series that combines as a package (a puzzle?) and creates -- as an end-goal -- (at least) one scholarship application for each student.  To that end, then, this second lesson in the series stretches or expands on a process begun in the last lesson.  

As with ALL of the lessons in this unit, you will need to amend the time as you see fit.  Again, the lessons are presented in an "ideal" order but the needs of your own students will dictate the length of each lesson segment; therefore, the times I have posted are recommended ones only.

For this portion of the unit, then, you will need to do a bit of homework at the outset to determine the types of schools where your students have been accepted.  Knowing this is important for planning how much time you will need in class for this lesson and also for knowing just generally how to advise your students.  For me (as I mentioned in the previous lesson) in the spring of 2014, I did not have a single student who was planning to attend a private college or university -- all 62 of my spring 2014 students wanted to attend (mostly large) public universities or junior colleges.

Knowing the general types of institutions your students will attend is crucial because it will direct you to the proper amount of and structure for the internet searches that are crucial for this lesson.  Public universities by and large do not (at least insofar as they apply to my Midwestern crew of students) offer application-based, competitive merit aid.  As I have explained, students are considered for merit aid at large schools based (almost exclusively) on the original admissions application.

Therefore, if your class(es) is made up of students who will attended large, public schools, then searching for university-based scholarships is a short process -- there simply will not be much to locate.  However, if you have a number of students who are planning to attend private schools then there is a great deal to consider.  Nearly all private schools (expecting the Ivy League schools) have extensive, highly competitive, application-required merit scholarships, and these types of scholarships are worth locating during the second lesson/ second day of this longer process. 

University-Based Merit Aid - Deeper Searching

30 minutes

In the previous lesson, I asked students to identify their top five choices for schools to attend next fall, and they made index cards with this information (as well as listing it on a Google Form, known as Scholarship Form #1).  Now they will revisit this information for the first few minutes in order to load several tabs in Chrome -- one tab for each prospective school.  

After I re-distribute the index cards, used as a reference to complete Scholarship Form #1, I ask students to search for and locate the Financial Aid office of each of their top five schools, loading the FA office for each in a fresh tab.  Once they have their bearings a bit, I ask them to begin the process of searching inside individual FA offices for merit-based aid from each school.  I tell them that the goal is to find one (or more) merit scholarships requiring e a separate application -- that is an application other than the one they have already completed for admission.  (Again, as with my current crew, the pickings were slim overall!)  I point out, obviously, they are to locate scholarships in addition to the one they listed on Scholarship Form #1.

During this process, I circulate around the lab, answering their questions as I am able.  I mention that it is a good idea to bookmark or otherwise "capture" the URLs of any interesting scholarships they are eligible for, and, of course, to consider the feasibility of applying for one of these as part of my course. 

What Are My Target University-Based Scholarships? (a "Ticket Out")

5 minutes

With a few minutes remaining in class, I distribute index cards (new ones, yes!), and I ask students to label (of course) with name and period.  Then, I ask them to write down they top three - five university-based merit scholarships they can apply for as part of this unit.

 I mention that tomorrow they will use this information when completing Scholarship Form #2.

I collect these cards on the way out at the bell ...