Financial Aid Scholarships
CollegeAdvisor.com (formerly Bullseye Admissions) presents its webinar on Financial Aid Scholarships in a 60-minute presentation and Q&A with a Bullseye Advisor. Our presenter will provide information about scholarships like Questbridge, Gates, Jack Kent Cooke, and more. Our advisor will share their insider experiences as a winner of the Gates scholarship and answer your questions about successfully navigating the application process for financial aid scholarships.
2020-08-20 Financial Aid Scholarships Webinar
Hi everyone. Welcome to the bullseye admission webinar on financial aid scholarships to orient everyone with the bed and with the webinar timing and different chat taps, I’ll start up with a presentation, then answer your question in a live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slide in the handout tab and you can start submitting questions in the Q and a taps.
Okay. To introduce myself, my name is Tom and I’m an incoming first year at Harvard university. Fun fact. I’m moving in next Sunday. So hopefully the school won’t cancel moving. Cause that would be very sad. And I bought plane tickets. All right. Yeah. I was born in Vietnam. I moved in St. Louis, Missouri.
That’s where I’m currently am. And the two scholarships that I’ll be presenting today, I’m a QuestBridge finalist and also a gates scholars. So I’ll be talking about those two.
What I, financial aid scholarships think of them as like scholarship, but like specifically designed for low-income students. Cause a lot of time you have merit scholarship, what are like very stats heavy is going to be based on your academic interests or your GPA, your test score while financial aid scholarships really just like targeting the fact that you are a low-income a first-generation student.
And they are just really trying to help. Some of the biggest one for a first gen low income student, that’s like the acronym FGLI the gates scholarship, which is the deadline. September 15, you have a little less than a month left. The Jack Kent Cooke scholarship due at the end of October and the QuestBridge, which is actually not a scholarship technically.
However, it’s a very good opportunity. I’m gonna present more about it, but like right now, think of it as like the bridge between you and the college of your dreams, which are like 42 options to choose from with. Yes. So the pros are financial aid scholarship is that oftentimes they offer like a lot of money.
For example the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship for up to $40,000 a year. And this is tricky because they would say that unmet need from the universities. So for example, if you go to your college and they said that you still need to pay like $20,000, then that is when the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship jump in, they say, oh, we’ll take care of the $20,000 that said, if you go to, for example, my friend goes to U Chicago and he got like a full ride to U Chicago from financial aid anyways.
So the Jack and Coke scholarship doesn’t actually offer him anything except for a technology grant to buy a laptop. But yeah, it’s also good because financial aid scholarship take into your like take into account, like your background as a low-income students. And when you think about it, it’s like even the playing field, because we don’t have like where we’re from.
Like maybe we don’t have as much opportunities to take advanced placement class or to do research and they know about that. So they’re not going to penalize you or compare you to other more affluent students who have access to dos like opportunities. And yeah, let’s not least like the community of scholars.
My, my quest bridge community is just like amazing. Cause we, from like the very similar background, we share the same passion and everyone, as soon as the applications are done, everyone is just like chilling. And we just form a very tight knit group of friends, which actually amazing because like later on visa be the same people that go to college with you.
And you can start like networking since a very early, like early on in like even before college. But that said financial aid scholarships, especially the big ones that I mentioned, QuestBridge check and cook gates, even Coca Cola, they are very competitive because a lot of people will be applying to them.
And in a way, since you are like competing against low-income students it can feel very harsh because if it would feel like everyone shared the same story and also they include many stages and a very long application, which like right now, you guys already preparing for college application. So it feels like scholarship application on top of that might be a little bit too much.
However, I promise you, like these opportunities are so rewarding, so you should definitely. Yeah, let’s talk about the first scholarships. The gates. It is a highly selective last dollar scholarship form. And the requirement is that you have to be Pell grant eligible. On there, and we’ll talk more about what does, what that means.
You also have to be in the BiPAP community. So black indigenous people of color are you’ll be high school seniors, and you have to be a U S citizen or a permanent resident. Roughly 300 students are selected for the scholarships. However, this is something I only discover back in April is that some student can be placed on a wait list.
So what happened is that like almost half. Gates scholars all go into like very prestigious university that offered them very good financial aid anyway. The Gates scholarship will have a lot of leftover funds and for those they can pick more student from the wait list so that they can help more students.
Yeah, that’s super cool. Yeah. So last dollar scholarships, people think that the Gates scholarship, or like Jack can coats are full. But no what last dollar means that it will cover all the unmet need in your financial aid package or in your cost of attendance and yeah, and actually they will X they will expect your family to I don’t know, to pay the expected family contribution.
For example, my family expected contribution is $500. So in all the grants that gates will give me, they will subtract $500. Which I know is stupid, but when you think about it, they actually help with a lot because you have a work study. So I have 3,500 we’re 30 from Harvard. The gates will cover that.
Also, like I know out of colleges we’ll have like summer contribution or student contribution that they expect students, you like pay outside of a family expect the income or work study. So those sort of things are like what the gates can also cover for you. They will also have a $2,000, one time technology grant for you to buy either a laptop or an iPad, even a printer.
I know a friend of mine bought like AirPods, so it’s amazing. Also health insurance and dental insurance. All you have to do is ask the school to add those fees onto your cost of attendance. And then the gates scholarships will cover those. So who can apply. You have to be a high school seniors from one of the, like the BiPAP community.
So African American, American, Indian, Alaska, native, Asian, Pacific Islander Americans, Hispanic Americans. I think I check if you’re like in the middle east, it still counts as a minority group, so you can definitely apply. One thing they do want to know is that if you are a, if you’re a native Americans, they do require that you have submit proof of tribal reservation to like in your application.
So Pell grant eligible, it means that when you do the FAFSA like when the FAFSA opened October 1st, you would, and you factor in all the information. They will let you know if you’re if you are eligible for a grant from the government to help pay your college. And usually the student who are Pell grant eligible they will, they are financially qualify for the gates scholarships.
Like I said, you have to be a U S citizen national or permanent resident, which yeah. And the good thing is that if you’re like, if you’re a us citizen, but you like go to school in a different country, you are still qualify for the gates scholarships. So you don’t have to be in America. They want a GPA of 3.3 on a four point scale and you have to plan to attend a four-year college.
However, this is something they wouldn’t tell you that I have friends originally. She wants to go to college, but because of COVID, she wants to take a gap year and it is totally okay. If you get this gal scholarship, and then later on you decide, you want to take a gap year, they will allow you to do that.
And basically they will. Push their scholarship. Like they were just like, save it for an additional year so that when, after you’re done with your gap year and go back to college, it will resume and you get like all your expenses pay. So super good. So if you’re thinking about taking a gap year, but you don’t want to miss out on a scholarship, just apply.
And then later on you can just tell them that you want to take a gap year. So the application process, it is a very long one. I’m not going to lie. It is long and tedious, but the good thing is that is so spread out throughout the entire process. So it feels like you’re applying to an additional school, but of the phase one, which is currently happening right now is a basic questionnaire on your general stats and background.
They ask let’s see what classes that you’re taking. Do you have any leadership opportunities? Have you taking the sat act or that sort of state, that’s why I’ve stopped you, you don’t have to write anything. It’s basically, it’s literally just like clicking all the options that apply to you.
The deadline is September 15, 20, 20. However, I don’t, I think like the deadline time is not at midnight, but it’s more at five in the afternoon, which I know is very weird. So if you’re interested, check out the time because the gates operate in whole different time. Like from that stage one, they will pick the most distinguished candidates for stage two, which is document verification.
So I think early October, that is when they’re going to send out email to the people selected for verification and you have to submit your test, score, your CSS profile, your FAFSA, and a counselor. Like a counselor recommendation which is good because October 1st is when FAFSA and CNS profile open.
So you want to like, get started on that as quickly as possible, especially if you’re selected for the second stage of the gates scholarships. Yeah. So my advice for phase one, especially the first stage is that since it is this totally stats heavy, there is really no, like for this stage, all we know about you are just numbers and like statistic information.
So make sure that you enter all awards and extra curricular activities and leadership roles, because you don’t want to not like you don’t want to like, forget three. And then later on found out that you didn’t get picked because possibly they didn’t see like all your potential. So take good care of that.
Also be prompt for stage two. Like as soon as they send out the email and you’re picked, you want to get on that, like quickly as possible, because I know that is also the, around the time for like early action, early decision deadline. So you don’t want to like, forget about it and miss out on a very great opportunity.
The second phase is semi-finalist last year they notify us via email on December 1st. So I’m assuming it’s gonna also be around that time for navigation this year. You, and then you have until January 15th to submit all documents. And so you’re going to be writing four essays. Each are 400 words, but don’t freak out.
I’ll tell you why you also need to do. Two teacher’s recommendation letters get started on them early. Although when you think about it, you can really reuse, like you can ask your teacher to reuse the college recommendation. That’s what my teachers did and I’m fine. Yeah, don’t worry. And you also do you have to do like another questionnaire for like additional document verification?
Yeah, it’s a hassle, but get started on them as quickly as possible. So my advice for this stage, as for teacher recs early, or ask them to reuse the ones, they already sent you a recycle or reuse your essays, all four essays that I wrote for the Gates scholarships are the ones that I recycle from my regular decision essays.
It’s totally fine. You’ll be writing a whole bunch of them for your college anyway. And if you’re going to submit your best score for your college, then why not be smart and recycle them, save the environment, save yourself some time, be efficient. And then that use a mid in January 15th, then early March.
Here are the essay prompt if you guys want to see, I’m not sure if they’re going to change it. I assume from last year, I feel like they’re going to keep the same essay every year. But yeah, later on, if you want to ask me about the questions or what I wrote about them, feel free to ask in the Q and a, but yeah, March 1st they will send out finalists notification is the interview round.
So 600 finalists are chosen, but then only 300 scholars. Oh, awarded the scholarship. So the interview round, it is so important for us. Like first at that point, it’s almost like a coin toss and you want to have the best advantage interview conducted over phone Skype or in person this year. I was very lucky to get an in-person one because I think I got in person.
Early March. And then a week later, St. Louis go on the lockdown. And I know that like for my friends who have like phone a Skype interview, sometime it’s not as easy to vibe with people. So I was definitely lucky for this round be prompt, keep a lookout on the initial email or text or phone call from your interviewer.
I know so many of my friends, like miss, like when they call, like they missed the email or like they missed the call and then everyone was just like in a hassle trying to contact the interviewer. So if you know that you’re gonna get an important call, text message, just make sure to keep a lookout on that.
You don’t want to miss it. Cause it can also be like a bad impression during the interview. Be genuine and passionate when answering your questions and also make it a conversation. That’s the most important thing. The best interviews are conversational ones. So be easy. Make small talk, try to like when answering the questions don’t do, it’s so abrupt and just like naked so that the interviewer know more about you from the conversation and not just from the answer.
Yeah. Also super important. Send a thank you email within 24 hours of the interview, it shows that you appreciative of them. And also if you forgot to mention anything important during the interview, you can like notch, not have them to include it in your report. The thank you email can also work with college interviews.
So keep notes of that. The benefit of the gates scholarship community of scholars, there is like only three hundreds of us each year. And we all attend this conference in the summer before. And so we’re already like a very tight knit community, especially with this year because of COVID and the way a quarantine virtual learning situation.
And I’m assuming things probably not going to get better anytime soon. So even for your guys’ years, you will have that tight knit community, even before you set foot on college and that’s going to help you so much. They have a network of alumni and scholars from previous cohorts and trust me, they are so helpful.
I was freaking out about like class selection and I texted it in like the gates at Harvard group chat and like a fellow gates scholarships student. A cohort last year he’s reached out and he helped me. So they are so helpful and they’re so eager to help. And you guys already have this like special connection.
You also have access to career services or internships, or like other perks. I know, like during the gates Institute, they have someone to come over and talk to us how to like work on our resume, how to build interview skills. Like it is amazing. And it’s not only like a one-time thing in the summer Institute.
These are something that you can reach out for from the gates, because they have these people called scholar advocates that like not only your support hack team, but that they’re gonna make sure that everything that you need, you’re going to get it. And also the money is helpful. So yeah.
Get that back, everyone. And the second one is the Jack Kent Cooke undergraduate scholarships. Admittedly, I didn’t apply to this one, but I have a lot of friends who do, and so I asked them questions to make sure that I can best present this in this webinar. So Jack can cook is an organization for that help a low-income student.
The undergraduate scholarship is only one out of three scholarships that they have. One is this undergraduate scholarship, another one for transfer students. And they have a young scholars program for like middle school kids. So if you guys have like siblings who are like in middle school, also have them check out this like I mentioned previously, it can give you up to $40,000 each year for each scholar also offer additional resources like personal advising, like a lot of the same thing that the Gates scholarship.
Yeah. Was all my friends tell me this. I haven’t verify it, but apparently they also give you $75,000, like a one-time scholarship for grad school. Not sure if he was just pulling my leg, but that is amazing. Yep. So good thing about the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship is that you don’t have to be a us citizen or permanent resident to apply for it.
As long as you’re are in America, then you should be fine. Yeah, here are like the list of eligibility. I’m not gonna read it out loud, but yeah. And the good thing about them is that their income cutoff is actually pretty high. It’s like $95,000 a year, which is much better than QuestBridge, but that is, felt like a Nutter slide.
Yeah. So their deadline is at the end of October, the day before Halloween you will actually use the common app for this. So if you go to common app and use like in like the search for school, at school search for school tab, you entering Jack can cook then and you can add it, like you can add the scholarship as a school, and then they will have all the like requirements for you to do.
So there’s like eligibility questions ask you like college plan intended major, you have short essays. And it, when I say short, it’s not like a 500 word essay that they caught a short is like very tiny. They’re just really wanting to get to know you. And also some financial aid, some financial information, like they’ll ask for the adjusted gross income of your family up the last three years.
As far as I’m concerned, as far as I know, they don’t actually require you to submit verification during the first stage. Yeah. I asked my friend what advice I would give you guys and say just start your essay early, because even though it’s like short, there are like many of them. And like I said October 30th, it’s two days before, early decision that line.
So you don’t want to like, have to sacrifice one over the other. So if you start this early and you get it over with, you have more time to focus on your early decision application, also make sure to show your passions in them. The good thing about the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship is that they will also read your common app essay.
So they know a little bit more about you in the initial round already. Unlike the gates scholarships. I’ll also utilize the short essay to tell them more about yourself. What are your dreams? What are your passions? What makes you deserve the scholarships?
So we’ll have a short poll. Are you planning to apply to the gates or the Jack Hancock scholarships?
Do we have yes. For the gates scholarship? Yes. For the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship. Yes. For some other scholarships they deciding and no, I hope no one would pick. No, because why are you hidden?
Is everyone, has everyone gone? Okay. I’m going to have a quick look through the results. Certainly. So should I close the poll? Oh yeah. Do you want to discuss them really quickly and then close them? Yes. So I think the most popular option so far is the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship is very good. I wish I could offer some firsthand experience with it, but I couldn’t, I was lazy, so I didn’t apply for it.
But for the 19 people that apply to the gate, that one, top five were to get scholarships. You can always reach out to me and I will help you in any way that I can. I would love to have you guys join a cohort next year. Okay. So I’m gonna close the poll and go to quest bridge. My quest bridge family. I loved him so much.
Even though I wasn’t a match scholars. Wasn’t a match scholar and I’m not even going to be a scholar because I attend Harvard, but they have a special place in my heart. So what is quest bridge? It is a college. It is not a scholarship. QuestBridge is not a scholarship. It’s like a nonprofit organization with opportunity for, to connect low-income, but high achieving students like to the admission process.
Yeah, and they have 42 partner institutions. The likes of would include Stanford, Princeton, Yale, MIT they’re new as partners are Colgate university and Boston college. We just welcomed them like this year, but yeah, it’s amazing. The QuestBridge application is honest. Perfect because you had to write to lodge essay, one of which is 800 word, the auto is 500 word and then multiple short answer and like super short answer.
Like you have 35 words to answer. Like you only have 35 words for I think four or five questions, but yeah, it’s good because like they have a lot of essays. So more chances for you to tell your story and get the admission officers to know you also like the way that Scott, the way that the application is structure, it will really allow you to explain like your family financial circumstances, or if you have a lot of people in your family, or you have like siblings currently in college or about to be in college, like the scholarship will take into account all of that.
Yeah. So the basic eligibility, it is a holistic process, but here are like some of the things that most commonly seen in their application, in their applicants. Household income, less than $65,000 a year from a family of four with minimal assets. So what does this mean? So that is like the typical standard, but I have friends who come from a family of eight and yeah, their income a little bit higher, but like the people from QuestBridge and also the admission officer from the colleges who will read your QuestBridge application later on, they will understand that even if maybe your family made $80,000, but it’s so many people in your household, so it’s not going to penalize you.
Yeah, you go you would need to plan to enroll in college in the fall 2021. But like I said, it is not it’s not like a strict standard. I know so many friends who are QuestBridge finalists. Oh, like who are QuestBridge scholar at like the partner school who are taking gap year. So it’s fine.
And yeah, similar to the Jack Kenco, you’re either a us citizen or permanent resident, or you can just be an international student or undocumented student attending school in the U S so for international students, like QuestBridge is like an option. Yeah. So the application process, the deadline is September 29th.
So you have a little bit over a month, but like I said, it is so freaking long that you want to get started on it soon. You have the basic family information section and also like activities of war. You need to a letter of teacher’s recommendation. Yeah. And unless you apply to a specific partner like Caltech or MIT they can be from any subject, but like MIT and Caltech, I think they require one math and one humanity or one science and one humanities that said, if you feel like for QuestBridge, you want to have two English teacher write your recommendation letter and then comes October.
You realize that you want to apply to MIT. There is a process to send an additional letter of recommendation from a stem teacher to strike for MIT. So don’t worry about that. Okay. This is like the biggest pet peeve from a lot of finalists is that since a lot of people rushed their QuestBridge application to meet the September 29th deadline, they feel like they didn’t put their best work in their essays.
And then later on the QuestBridge application will be like, if you do the match, or if you applied through QuestBridge regular decision, this app, this application is what colleges will see. So a lot of people are like unhappy because of that. But I would say if you have time now start working on it, fine tuning everything, because it will, this will be the application that colleges see.
And personal personally for me, like I’m happy with my application. I didn’t make too many mistakes on it. And I really love the extra space to tell my story. I like this way better than the common app. I was happy to submit it to colleges, but make sure that you feel the same way when it comes to like quest when it comes to like your application.
Okay. The thing about quest bridge is that it advertised as a way to apply early to up to 12 school. And that is through a match process. So in, I think early October, the match ranking will be available for submission. So you, there are 42 QuestBridge partner, but you can rank up to 12 of them. So if you want, you can only put one school and even though you match to it, you basically only applied early decision to that school.
I have a friend who did it. She only put Columbia on her ranking list and she ended up matching with Columbia. So it’s beautiful. I think she put her reaction video online. So go find it. If you can’t like it’s honestly so hot. But back to this. So early October match ringing form will be available. For this one, you like the order of it, you can rearrange later on, you just cannot add school.
You cannot just add more school or switched out school for the initial ranking form. This year I like is actually not mid October. I think they released the decision for finalists in the third week of October. So finalists decision, you have one more chance to revise your rank list. This time you can remove school like I did, or you can rearrange the order.
I also did that. Yeah. I’m very indecisive. But then you have until November 1st to complete all requirements for the match. And I guess you ask what are the requirement? For example, if you ranked. Yale, you have to answer two short answer questions, HR like 125 words, or 150 words.
And those are like the match requirement for each college. So basically you’re doing the supplements for those colleges. And I know there’s only actually a week or like a little bit over a week for you to complete this. So it is super rush. So something you can do is that pick a few schools that you know, that you want to rank.
And I stopped working on those submission because if you’re not selected as a finalist, you can pick one of those school to apply for like early decision. And like you will miss out any opportunities. Yeah. Don’t wait until after you become a finalist to then start working on the application.
Cause it will be so stressful. And that’s what I did. And I basically have to skip school to work on supplements because I was running out of time and I don’t wish that on you guys. Okay. Also some people don’t do the match. They opting out and do QuestBridge regular decision. So why is it an option?
The match is crazy competitive. It is actually so hard to get matched to a school. I know friends who I have friends who like, some of them apply early decision. Some of them do didn’t match. And like later on within compare statistics, like the rate of like acceptance rate for early decision is much higher than the match rate.
Because some school like USC, they only accept five match applicants each year, or for Yale, like I think they accept the most matched applicants, but it’s only 81 a year, but then when you, but then when you take into account. 5,000 finalists apply for to be matched to you. So like the rate is ridiculously low, but if you like apply recolor restricted, early action to Yale, like the acceptance rate is still very low, but it’s not like as stupidly low as the QuestBridge match rate this year because of COVID.
And I think because Princeton and Yale locks, a lot of students to Harvard in the regular decision round go my school. Yeah. So except for MIT, every school is finding. So if you are a match, you have to go. And I know this is, this makes a lot of people unhappy because previously there are like four schools that are non-binding.
So it gives you more freedom, but now it’s like icky. I would say Princeton since they get rid of like restrictive early action this year, the only way you get admitted to Princeton early is if you match to it through QuestBridge. So interesting fact to know might influence your decision. Also your dream school might not be a quest school and maybe that’s the reason why you don’t do the match.
It is totally okay. My, a very good friend of mine. He didn’t, he, his dream school was Georgetown, so he decided to apply early action to it instead of attend up instead of doing the match and he ended up getting into Georgetown and he’s very happy. Like you can just like nearly use QuestBridge finalist as like an award or title, because it’s like a national award.
So why not? Yeah. And I mentioned quest for short, regular decision is basically just applying to QuestBridge, like applying regular decision to QuestBridge school. But this time, instead of using common app, you can use your quest bridge app. The pros of it, less work to do. Some partners school, like they are, they require no supplement at all.
If you apply QuestBridge regular decision compared to like common app. So I know Emory didn’t have a supplement requirement. If you apply QBR, if you applied like QuestBridge regular decision, wow. It’s a mouthful. But if you applied through a common app, I think you have a few essays two, right?
So yeah, like less work to do cons. I already mentioned it. You cannot edit or revise your QuestBridge application since you have submitted it in September. So choose very wisely whether or not you want to do this because. I like if in January, you later found out like a whole section of essay was deleted and you just didn’t know about it.
And then you found out that colleges are going to be looking at those essays, then it’s probably not going to be happy for you, or it’s not going to look good. So choose wisely whether or not you want to do QuestBridge regular decision. But yeah, for me, I like it, but that’s only because I did it because I am confident in my app, but if you’re not, then common app is totally okay.
You can just nearly use QuestBridge as an awar. Okay. Let’s do a non, a poll. Are you applying for QuestBridge? I really hope you guys all put yeah. Yes.
Tell him just in the interest of time. Since we’re a little bit past the 30 minute mark if you go a little bit faster with the next few slides and then I told everyone that they could already start submitting a Q and a.
Yeah. But I feel like your content is very important. So yeah, it’s definitely okay. If we go a little bit over on the presentation this time. Okay. Yes. Okay. So we have 11 yes. Five, no, and 12 stared signing. I hope I can convince that 12 people who are still deciding to click. Yes. Okay. I’m gonna close the poll and okay.
There are other financial aid scholarship. I only mentioned the big. That I know I have like firsthand or secondhand knowledge about, but there’s also the Coca Cola scholar, foundations, us a scholarship of Coca Cola is mainly service bay. So they really are looking for like how involved you are with community service or like your leadership opportunity, the Dell scholars program.
I think it has something to do with a community based organization that you’re involved in. I’m not very sure, but like definitely take a look at these education. First scholarship, Horatio Alger association. I have friends who are involved who got those scholarship and it’s it’s legit.
It’s all like you foundation had in scholarship or also like greenhouse scholars. There’s actually like a lot of like scholarships, such engine. So niche scalper, Fastweb, Unico cafe. There’s also another one called college Greenlight. They offer a lot of here, I’m going to tap it in the chat.
Yeah. They offer a lot of like good scholarship for like first gen low-income student, even bake one or like local one. So check those out. Always make sure that a scholarship is trustworthy before you apply, because a lot of them might be just scammed and then you ended up wasting your time or you and oh, you might have given them the information that you should never give strangers.
Yeah. So find a knows about scholarships. These are super competitive, have a very long application process. So do not put all of your eggs in one basket. They like all these Nash, big national ones offer like a lot of money. That’s amazing thing, but do not overlook local stuff. My friends applied to local scholarship and ended up racking up like enough money to cover like all the additional expenses not met by colleges.
So it’s also a better, good way to get money. Plan accordingly because the application process are so long and spread out. If it would feel like applying for another school, except with more steps. So you don’t want to overwhelm yourself, but should you do it? Totally. So I want to wish you guys all good luck and here’s the question and answer, ask me anything.
Okay. I have a question from if you have a 3.2. GPA should just do apply. I’m not sure what, I’m not sure. What scholarship you mentioned, but I’d say definitely like a lot of these are very holistic. They will look at like your entire application process and they usually like a box that would let you like, tell them more context or if there’s anything about you that you want to share with them, so apply.
And they, maybe you can explain anything happens that maybe cause a reduction in GPA or any like accessories that happen to you on hand score that lead to that. Great. But even so a 3.2 is like good. So good job. Okay. Really quick note, can you actually just paste the question into the public chat?
Just all the questions. Oh, yes. Yeah. I realized that when you guys publish it, we can see everyone’s first and last name. So just in case you guys aren’t comfortable with, I’m comfortable with that. Anything that you put into QA, we’ll just pop you into that public chat. So then your name isn’t tied to it.
Yes. We’ll have a question about the sat. I know since a lot of colleges are like test optional so like for classes, especially cause I’m working with a lot of like quest risk students they are also like allowing you don’t have to submit test score because colleges won’t require them.
But if you have. P sat score or pre act score. You can still submit, or like even your AP score, because if you applied to QuestBridge, they up, they asked you to submit every single test score that you have ever taken. So they can be good and useful for like anxiety and act. Yeah. And I haven’t heard any, anything about the sat requirement from the gates scholarship.
However since these are like following comm students, I believe that going to be very understanding, especially now since like testing center are all being canceled from like all around the country. So they would not be like two diff they were not going to be too difficult with it. Yeah, I have another question about act sat score is gonna really be depends on the scholarship.
However, I know that they’re going to be a little bit more understanding. Otherwise it will be very, it would be very awkward if they all required act score. Since testing are all canceled. No one’s can really apply. I had a question about scholarship and financial aid tip for DACA students. Yes. Like the Jack Kent Cooke is one that doesn’t require it doesn’t require your like us citizenship or like permanent residency.
Not a one is the golden door scholarships is like a scholarship specifically designed for DACA student or undocumented student. So definitely check those out and. There’s also like a lot of local ones. If you go onto like college Greenlight or any scholarship database and like type in scholarship for undocumented students or like international students it will be very helpful.
I know also on college Greenlight, it has a list of university that treat undocumented student, as well as like regular us citizen or like permanent resident student for like domestic fee or like domestic financial aid. So definitely check it out because it’s very helpful.
I have a question about whether or not to use common app if you’re an international student. Definitely. I think you, your options are either a common app or coalition. And I think the common app is more commonly used by colleges, so I definitely still like to it, even if you’re international student.
Okay. My next question is, are there other scholarships for international student who are not resident in the USA or in American high school? I say there are, I’m just not aware of them. And this is something that you can definitely look up. I’m not the most knowledgeable person for international students scholarship.
Cause by the time I apply, I was like a green card holder already. That’s it? I think that’s gonna, I think there are available scholarships for international student. Also if you’re international student like a lot of school will also offer like merit scholarship for international students specifically.
Definitely check those out. If they’re not really financial aid scholarship, like these merit scholarship from the school, like they have a very easy requirement. Like it only based on your GPA or maybe even based on your major that you apply to the universities. So they can be like a good way to offset the cost of college.
Okay. I have a question about tips to craft a strong essay. Also ask about what I wrote in my common app essay. So strong essay I think it’s really how genuine you, how genuine and passionate you come across in your essay, make sure to portray your dreams, your passion, or whatever it is that you want to convey to the admission committee, as honest as possible.
But that said, even if it’s honest, always make sure that you are put in a good light. Yeah. And what I wrote in mine I wrote about how like a lot of throughout my life, there’s a lot of times where I didn’t really speak up out of fear and how I really wanted to change that in, especially in college, like a more progressive environment where I can like actually stand up and fight for what I want.
It is very cliche. I promise it’s not that cliche. Yeah. Hey I have a question about how to stand out in the scholarship from people that have similar background as you. Honestly, my, I would say even if I, like on paper, you guys are going to be very similar like maybe similar ethnicity or maybe it’s similar, like low-income background immigrant parents, or first-generation American or first-generation college student.
Yes. Like all those things, like auto checks points are similar, but who you are as a person. Okay. You can have different dreams. You might want to be a, an astronaut. You want to be like a neurosurgeon. And what leads to those dreams? Like the, your backstory behind it, like who inspired you to do this?
What inspired you? What do you strive to be in the future? Those are all you, so in your essay and in your interviews, make sure to talk about those sort of things, because inspiration and like passion come from everywhere and it’s uniquely you. So tell them that, show them that you are more than just a box.
You are more than just a box that they take when they take your application. And yeah, I think that’s the best way to stand out in these sort of things. Okay. Major tips when applying to the gates scholarship. Yeah. It is very competitive. Like I said, for the first round. A lot of it is luck too, because it’s all like stats heavy.
They’re just going to be looking at like a list of check boxes and squat. When I apply, I didn’t have any major national award. I think the only national award I have is like college prep scholar from QuestBridge my junior year. So I was super intimidated, but let’s say hope for the best, make sure that you like any activity or what did you have, you’re going to enter them because you want to come across as impressive as possible.
When you get to the semi-finalist round use though essays as a way to get them to know you, you want to hammer down how perfect and how deserving you are at, of these scholarships. And you have you, and your only chance of showing that is through your essay. Granted, you can show that through your to your teacher, your, to your teachers wrecked too, but your essay is like in your control and you can do that.
And for the interview round comma has like. Likable, but also passionate in your interview. You want your interviewer to like you, because even though they’re not the one deciding they’re going to be writing down a report and send it to the gates scholarship people who will be, who ended up picking out the 300 scholars.
So yeah, that’s all like my advice. Okay. Yeah, a really good job with the QA so far. Do you want to tell everyone about both I really quickly and then we’ll get back to QA? Actually Lily, can you do. Yeah, I can definitely cover the side. So yeah, because we were part partway through the Q and a to create job with, answering so many questions.
I see a bunch more coming in. We do want to let you know about both sides. So if you want to work with Tom or any other any of our other advisors, we have to advise incidents. So we have the starter plan scholar plan. And so they’re both in the form of these monthly subscriptions where you can choose what advise you wanna work with, or you can choose the school that you want to find an advisor from, and then you can get one or two hours of one-on-one advising every single month.
And as advisors like I, this will help you with your scholarship essays, your ComNet essay, your supplemental essays, pretty much whatever you’re working on in the college process. We’re here to help. And so if you want to work with one or a different advisor I’m going to send out the link as an offer to you guys.
And that’s like how you can go and sign up. So I’m going to send that out right now and hopefully that should be popping up on your screen. And then just to give you a little bit of background about how the previous apps cycle went last mission cycle. We had clients who got into every single Ivy league school and also every top 25 school in the country.
And so one big thing is that clients really enjoy working with advisors. They ended up reading our advisors 9 28 out of 10. That just because if I just will put a lot of care into working with you in the college process. If you’re worried about your essays or worried about cloud planning to scholarships, they’re really there to support you and make sure that your applications for the strongest that they can be.
So this is a really good opportunity if you want to work with people like who one of the gates or become a QuestBridge finalist. So I’ll let you get back to the Q and a yeah, it’s a great job so far. Hey I have another question about if you apply for QuestBridge for early round, can you also apply with common net like double apply?
The answer is no. This question I asked the school already is totally fine, but yeah. What happens is that they will only read one application for you. So if you submitted your QuestBridge app and then later on you submit like an addition, like another common app depends on the school.
They either just ignore your common app or they will ignore your quest bridge app and they only, so they’re only gonna be looking at what it is annoying, but yeah. And even so you want to focus all your your, all your energy into crafting one perfect application instead of like trying to like juggling to just for one school.
Yeah. There’s someone asks if there is a GPA requirement for QuestBridge. No, it is a holistic process. You just submit everything and they’re going to like looking at your entire application. There’s no GPA cutoff that said in the past, their finalists have been like their finalists have a GBA.
I think of an average of 3.7 or 3.8. That’s it is, it’s an average. So there’s a higher and there’s a lower, okay. Someone asks if there’s a thing of creating too many count on scholarship websites. No, go for it. Get that back. Okay. Okay. Do you know whether scholarship will make Tesco optional?
Like I said, for QuestBridge I’m I S for QuestBridge, I think they are making Tesco optional. For other scholarships, I don’t know, maybe something you can do is ask them directly. I know for the Gates scholarship, if you start your application, there’s like a message center that you can sending message directly to the gate scholarship team, and they will answer them.
And they’re like the best person to ask. But in this sort of situation I think they are going to be very like understanding of what’s happening. Cause like they are after all a scholarship organization for low income students. So they will try their best to accommodate us what our chances of getting scholarship for those crow’s family income around 160,000.
Dollar. It depends, like I said, like there’s no I think the Jack Hancock has a strict income cut up, but like for QuestBridge, it will be depends on like other factors, like your family size or like debt or mortgage. So I say try your best for it. And yeah, just try you, you miss a hundred percent of the shot that you don’t take.
Do I have any tips for finding local scholarships? Internet, like Google is your, it’s going to be your best friend, also reach out for your guidance counselor for scholarship, or I know a lot of university have like alumni club that also offers scholarships. Like university of Notre Dame is one.
They have a an alumni club in St. Louis and they offer each year they offer like a full tuition scholarship for St Louis student who are going to university of Notre Dame. So reach out to like those sort of opportunities. For that, but yeah, also you as counselor are going to know, okay, you are a us citizen, but studying in India, how it works it would be, it would depends on the scholarship.
I think you’re qualified for gates and QuestBridge Jack Kent Cooke. I think you have to be in the United States, but check the eligibility requirement. Because like I said, I didn’t apply to Jack and cook. Okay. Can someone get accepted to a high level college with a good essay? Yes. Your essay is like that.
They’re going to, they’re going to like, look at your essay and then your essay to me in my opinion, it’s like one of the most important part of the college application. So I’ll say yes, you can get into a good college. You have a good essay. Yes, you can apply to other scholarships like Jack and Coke or gates, even if you’re applying through QuestBridge.
That’s what I did. That’s what a lot of my friends did. In fact, my friends applied through gates, Jack and Coke and quest bridge of the national college match. And here’s the crazy thing. He got all three of them. It didn’t really need the money, but it was like amazing. It’s fun to ask. It’s fun.
It’s a fun fact of yourself that you can review through college orientation. Okay. Yes. Even if you’re applying to QuestBridge through regular decision, they’re still going to using the application that you submitted in September best way to get a forest scholar. Yes, no I guess the best thing especially if you’re a low-income student applying to school that meet a hundred percent of demonstrated need.
Like in the end, you don’t really have to pay a lot and that you can just cover everything through local scholarship or like a national scholarships. Should you sending a war from elementary school? I said to put in every award, but limit that to like high school, any further than that, they’re probably not going to take into account.
If you applied regular decision for requests, would you still get a full right? This is going to be depending on the school, a lot of school like offer the same financial aid package based on your income level. So yeah, it’s going to be depends on the scope. I know MIT has got tired financial aid scholarships, and like my friends, she didn’t match, but then her, she got an early action that she got a full ride.
Like it’s insane. What made me choose Harvard? It is such a cliche question, but it’s the people, it’s the community of students and faculty who love and support each other. Like I stand Harvard community so hard. Okay. Yes. If you’re not select be QuestBridge finalist, you can definitely use the common app.
And actually there are certain quests per school that even if you’re not a finalist, you can use your QuestBridge finalist application to apply to their to Desco like either, either early decision or regular decision. Yeah. But all those information, you can definitely check online in the QuestBridge website.
Okay. Gosh, I applied to 37 school and I got into 26 school. So we only had 10 minutes left, but let’s see, Columbia, Barnard, MIT, Swathmore. Wellsley Oberlin. Washington and Lee university Carleton, Macalester. There’s actually a lot but also I don’t recommend applying to 37 school. That was too much.
Wow. I finished all the Q and a, I feel so accomplished. That’s awesome. That only happens pretty rarely, so really great job with going with having good pacing, like awesome questions, everyone. Like those were amazing.
I guess if no one has any final questions, if you want to flip the slide and wrap things up.
So yeah, you can definitely work with me. I’m an advisor through bullseye. Feel free to reach out. Yeah, I think I S yep. And our next panel is on the 22nd. I believe that is Saturday. We’ll be talking about New York university will be fun. Yeah. Quick note about this panel also on normally our webinars in the evening at eight to nine on the sq, but then NYU candle is actually going to be from two to 3:00 PM EST.
So just to let you guys know about the time change there.
Yes. Thank you everyone. Yeah. Thanks so much for coming out.