About Scott Hawksworth

Scott Hawksworth is YesCollege.com's founder and editor. He writes with a focus on the challenges faced by students entering higher education, with an eye to making our readers aware of the pitfalls and opportunities that await all would-be graduates. Scott has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from The Ohio State University.

Two of My Favorite Downloadable FAFSA PDFs

Filling out the FAFSA is one of the most important things to do when it comes to financing your education. I’ve said it before, but even if you’re unsure that you’ll be eligible for any aid, you should fill out the FAFSA. That said, it can often seem like a daunting process. Fortunately, there are a ton of great resources out there – especially those in the form of PDFs. Here are a few of my favorites…

The FAFSA Process – From the official student aid .gov site, this short PDF explains everything you need to know about the FAFSA process in simple terms.

2016-2017 FAFSA Checklist – From the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, this is a handy checklist you can download and print out to make sure you’ve done everything you need to do when filling out the FAFSA. I absolutely LOVE checklists, and this one is no different.

So there you have it, two simple PDFs that can make your FAFSA application process much simpler. Remember get started early, the sooner you fill out the FAFSA, the sooner you can relax and focus on all the other important things with getting into and affording college.

Instantly Improve Your Application Essay in Three Easy Steps

Writing an application essay doesn’t have to be scary or tedious. Admissions officers examine your ACT/SAT test scores, transcript, extra curricular activities, and your application essay. With the possible exception of doing well on standardized tests, the application essay is the most daunting part of the admissions process for many students. What you, as a student, may not realize is that the essay is your chance to shine. [Read more…]

Busted Myths: What Admissions Officers Really Look For

Myth Busted Stamp Admissions Officers
No one likes to waste time. Despite what it feels like, admissions officers don’t want you to do excessive work on details that don’t matter, or to ignore the ones that do. There are plenty of myths about how to get into college. Some of those theories have been “busted” over and over again like, “your SAT/ACT scores are all that matters,” or “you can only apply to colleges during your senior year.” Hopefully you know that everyday myths like those ones are not 100% true, but chances are there are several myths you do believe because they aren’t frequently addressed. [Read more…]

8 Companies Offering Killer Tuition Reimbursement Programs

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Tuition reimbursement programs are all the rage right now. Companies know that the rising costs of college make it difficult to start or continue your education. Luckily there are several places that students can work at that offer tuition assistance. Many of the companies in this list hire students at any degree level, and are able to work around a school schedule. This type of tuition assistance will help you save money, and make it easier to balance both your school and work life.

[Read more…]

Decode Your Financial Aid Award Letter

College Money Jar
You know you’re going to college, you’ve filed your FAFSA, applied to colleges and universities, and now you’re getting financial aid award letters. Since there is no standard format that colleges have to follow, it can be difficult to decode you award letters. Despite how varied these letters initially appear, they all contain the same information and it’s just a matter of knowing what to look for and what it all means. [Read more…]

5 More .Gov Sites to Bookmark for College

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There’s a lot of information available online, but not all of it can be trusted. Government websites are excellent resources for students to find accurate information and discover a variety education and career opportunities. I wrote a post some time ago with Five .Gov Websites to Bookmark for College containing websites about college affordability like grants, scholarships, and filing your FAFSA. Today is part two, with a short list of government websites to help you find and manage career opportunities while you’re still in school. [Read more…]

Quick Links – Insider Advice on Admissions and Interviews

expert keyboard button Applying to colleges and universities is an exciting process. Part of this process is researching what those schools are looking for in your essays and transcript, and what they are hoping to find out about you in the interview process. I’ve compiled sources that give you an insider’s advice that ranges from admission advisors to successful students. [Read more…]

5 Tips for Staying Ahead of Your Loans

Future Today Quote

The impact that higher education will have on your life is priceless. However, actually attending college does come at a cost. Hopefully you can pay for your tuition with scholarships and grants but, if you’re like many students today, you may have to rely on loans to help you pay for your education.

While it’s tempting to not think about your loans until your senior year of college, it’s much less stressful in the long-run if you start managing them while you’re still in school. [Read more…]

10 Scholarship Myths Debunked

Keep Calm blue poster Scholarship Myths
Scholarships have been around for a long time now and (as with anything that has a history) rumors circulate and make scholarships look bad. Believing these rumors may discourage you from applying to scholarships. As you already know, a scholarship award is free money. Let me repeat that, A SCHOLARSHIP AWARD IS FREE MONEY! [Read more…]

The 411 on Work-Study

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Filing your FAFSA is essential for you to obtain financial aid that will help you pay for college. As you fill out your FAFSA, you will come across a question about applying for work-study. This question can be difficult to answer if you don’t know what work-study is, or if you can even participate in this program. Well, you’ve come to the right place to get the 411 on the Federal Work-Study program. [Read more…]