How to Apply for University Scholarships and Financial Aid

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Some seniors have been preparing to apply for college for years, while others may still be trying to decide what happens after high school. The good news is that it’s not too late to apply.

Natissia Small is Vice Provost for Access, Academic Support, and Workforce Inclusion at Missouri St. Louis University. She encourages students from college age to begin visiting colleges.

“For seniors, it’s really important that you start visiting colleges, like UMSL, and see yourself there in a place where you can really belong and start understanding how you’re going to feel. If you walk onto campus and feel like you’re at home, it will help you feel that sense of belonging,” Small said.

The next step is to complete an application for the desired institution. This will get the ball rolling for counselors to help seniors navigate the enrollment process. Next comes financial aid.

Get the completed FAFSA. The unabbreviated name is Free Application for Federal Student Aid. We want students to complete the FAFSA regardless of socioeconomic status,” Small said.

When it comes to scholarships, Small says think big.

“There are some you really wouldn’t think of applying for. You’re like, ‘Wow, I’m actually eligible for this, so let me apply.’ So, it’s going to take some commitment if you’ve only just discovered it. It’s going to take effort, but it’s definitely not too late for students to be accepted into an institution,” Small said.

Small also suggests checking out the website Fast Web for scholarships. For St. Louis and Missouri students, Scholarship Center is an excellent search engine. A paid app called Scholy may also be worth a detour.