Tuition hikes signal more competition for scholarships

California has the best public university system in the country, with outstanding colleges for students at all levels.  For many years, the University of California and California State Universities charged “fees” for students to attend classes on their respective campuses.  Between the effects of the recession and the resulting budget cuts, California colleges have been forced to raise these fees and change the language around the charges- now called “tuition.”

Students at all income levels surely feel the drain from the increase in tuition – college is expensive, but an undergraduate degree is an extremely important investment.  Students already in college have some control over how these increases will affect them – taking on another job, working as teaching assistant, or seeking additional outside funding.  Students still in high school, though, can make a huge impact on their funding before they even enter school.

Universities primarily look at three factors to determine how competitive a student is for their college: letter grades and classes, extracurricular activities and athletics, and standardized test scores.  These factors are considered for general admission, acceptance into a particular program or major, and finally for funding, scholarships, and grants.

Given the competitive landscape of college admission and the difficulty obtaining those scholarships, students who have the best and most complete applications are the students most likely to secure more scholarship money for college.  Students spend four years building their grades and after school activities, but can make a huge impact in a much shorter period of time by taking SAT and ACT Test Prep Courses or Private Tutoring for the SAT Test and ACT Test.  Students with high scores can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship, and some universities give scholarships if your student meets a certain score threshold.  In any case, preparation for the SAT and ACT can allow students an avenue, among other things, to offset the increase in tuition in both California school and other universities across the country.

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