Image from Pexels.

Image from Pexels.

When I applied to schools, I didn’t think about money. My parents did, and they encouraged me to apply for scholarships from both the schools I applied to and different organizations. Though I didn’t think about paying for college as much when applying, I thought about it more when I made my decision.

I received a scholarship offer from a public university about 12 hours from home soon after applying. I applied there as a result of getting mail about this scholarship opportunity. The scholarship included a five-year tuition waiver, a study abroad stipend, and a textbook stipend. They later offered to pay for freshman housing as well. After getting this offer, I decided to make the trek to the school and tour. I knew that this offer was amazing, and I knew how hard it would be to turn down.

I had my heart set on a different school going into the college admissions process, and I was accepted there as well later in the year. This made my decision difficult, because my dream school came with a hefty price tag that would require loans. After a lot of thinking and even more pro-con lists, I decided to accept my scholarship offer. I loved the campus when I toured my current school, and I had talked to some really interesting and engaging professors.

I’ve always wanted to go to graduate school, so making a financially smart choice for my undergraduate degree made a lot of sense. Luckily for me, my campus welcomed me with open arms and my scholarship program offered many chances to meet other students in the program. The program also offered focused academic advisement and chances to explore the resources on campus. I’ve fallen in love with my school, but I had my doubts going in.

Thinking about money is scary when applying to college for most students, but applying for scholarships and keeping an open mind are two ways to make the process a little less stressful!

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