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Articles / Applying to College / Merit Scholarship for U. Delaware Dean's List Student?

Merit Scholarship for U. Delaware Dean's List Student?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | May 20, 2010

Question: My son is completing his freshman year at Univ. of Delaware and has achieved Dean's list both semesters. He did not receive any merit scholarship from Udel last year. I have two questions: What do you think is the best way to approach Udel to ask for merit money based on his freshman year performance? Where is the best place to look for scholarships for students already in college?

Unfortunately, most colleges use merit scholarships to lure top recruits to campus rather than to reward those who are already successful there, as your son has been. You can certainly call the Office of Financial aid and plead your case, but don't get your hopes up..

Whenever you speak with financial aid officials, you want to be both polite but persistent. Always grovel a bit and act grateful for whatever crumbs the financial aid officers have already given you (even if it's just a couple minutes of their time!) and never entitled to more. But don't give up either until it's clear that your pleas are falling on deaf ears.

I did notice a few scholarships--mostly small ones--on the Delaware Web site aimed at current undergrads who are majoring in specific fields. See http://www.udel.edu/finaid/scholarships.html#merit

You should also post your question on College Confidential's University of Delaware forum at http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/university-delaware/ You may get some advice that only a Blue Hen insider would know.

Your son's best bet, however, might be to fill out the FastWeb questionnaire at www.fastweb.com, if he has not already done so. FastWeb will screen out scholarships that are just for rising freshmen and will generate a list of those for which your son should be eligible. He will still have to go through an application process, of course, but at least he might find a few that seem to have his name on them.

On another note, your son should also look into residence life positions on campus for his junior year. See http://www.udel.edu/reslife/candidates/ra_welcome.html He can earn a free room plus a stipend of nearly $4,000, if he is selected.

Good luck to you as you tackle the financial aid office, and congrats to your son for his fine academic record.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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