Website launched for local scholarships - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Website launched for local scholarships

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By Heather Sullivan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Your son or daughter just got accepted to college. Now how are you going to pay for it? Thousands of dollars of local scholarships are given away each year, sometimes with only a few applicants because students don't know about them.

The College Funding Group, a local company that helps families with college financial planning, has launched a free website, no strings attached, to help you find these little known scholarships.

Jonathan West was trying to find a way to help cover his son's college tuition and discovered finding private scholarships to apply for was hard. Said West, "There's an awful lot of information out there about scholarships but its not all in one place and its not very easy to access."

So he started collecting the data himself. "We really want to help kids learn what was out there for them. So we created the CFG ScholarBank, which is on our website. It's totally free and there's no sign-up required."

Many students apply for well-known scholarships, academic or athletic. But CFG ScholarBank lists more than 300 scholarships from local businesses, churches and civic groups, and some get very few applicants because students don't know they're there. Said West, "We found a number of scholarships with fewer than a dozen applicants. One scholarship in particular had two applicants, and one only had one applicant."

Scholarships on CFG ScholarBank range from $250 to full rides. Most are one or two thousand dollars.

Financial aid advisors say you should also fill out a FAFSA form to apply for grants, talk with your school's financial aid office about scholarships, and go to http://www.fastweb.com.

Explained Rebecca Parker, a financial aid processor at John Tyler Community College, "That is a large database that basically will incorporate a lot of organization's scholarships and will customize, based on whether or not you are left handed, or whether your from an Indian tribe."

Put all these resources together, you may find more money than you expected.

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