Sallie Mae College Answer
The SLM Corporation, commonly known as Sallie Mae, is a private company whose business involves originating, servicing, and collecting student loans. College Answer has interactive tools that enable you to analyze the affordability of schools, compare financial aid award letters, as well as search for scholarships.
Click on the “Scholarship Search” link in the third column in the middle of the page titled “Paying.” In order to use this function, you will need to register with the site. This involves giving them personal contact information, date of birth, and your high school. An email address is also required. Be sure to write down your login ID (user name) and password if you wish to return to the site. Once you’ve completed registration, click on the REGISTER button. Read the information and click on the SEARCH SCHOLARSHIPS button.
This will send you to the “Scholarship Profile Form.” You’ll need to fill out this information as thoroughly as possible in order to obtain the best scholarship matches. The form will ask you to provide your email address, current grade level, graduation year, citizenship, state, gender, age, ethnic heritage, disability, and college type. Then you select whether or not you wish to be notified of scholarship updates.
Click NEXT PAGE and you will move on to the “Academics, Athletics, & Religion” page. This page will ask you about your GPA, class standing, SAT scores, combined ACT scores, athletics you participate in, and your religious affiliation. You can fill this page out completely or skip certain sections. However, the more information you provide, the better the scholarship match. Narrowing down the selection criteria may result in fewer overall “hits” (scholarships found), but will provide you with very targeted results that are well matched to you. You might wish to rerun your search in the future based on different GPA or SAT scores or different majors. When you’re finished, click NEXT PAGE.
The “Majors, Careers, & Special Circumstances” page asks you to provide the name of a career or industry you’re interested in and your field of study. The Special Circumstances has a drop-down menu of many choices. Be sure to scroll through the list. Some scholarships are highly specific. For example, some scholarships are available to students who have a parent in law enforcement. There are also scholarships available to students who wish to pursue certain careers or majors (area of study). Again, the more information you provide, the more scholarships will be found for you.
Click NEXT PAGE and you’ll move to the final page of the search criteria, “Interests & Memberships.” The first section asks you about your Interests, Hobbies, & Passions. The drop-down menu provides you with a wide range of choices. Again, providing more information here will bring back more matching scholarships. Did you know there are scholarships available to people who like to knit? Here’s your chance to get free money for college because of your hobby.
Next, select from another drop-down menu the Clubs & Organizations that you or your family members belong. Some clubs and organizations have scholarships available to members’ families. Under Military Affiliation, you will be provided with another drop-down menu listing many organizations. Select those to which you or your immediate family belongs. This includes siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Again, these organizations may have scholarships for which you are eligible. Finally, click the SEARCH SCHOLARSHIP DATABASE button.
The Sallie Mae search engine has paired the information you just provided with scholarships for which you match the eligibility requirements. Each scholarship on the list is hyperlinked to the granting or sponsoring organization and provides information about deadlines, award amount, and matching accuracy as a percentage. You can spend hours looking through your list, saving those you’re interested in or discarding them. The sidebar on this page allows you to easily edit your scholarship Profile information and rerun your search.
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