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Our view: Searching for scholarships worth the effort

The idea of paying four or more years of a college education for a child is daunting.

A year of tuition, room and board at a state college costs on average $13,600 per year. It’s more than $60,000 annually at private schools such as Northwestern and the University of Chicago.

And there’s no promise, in today’s fragile economy, that a job is waiting once your child has a diploma in hand.

Don’t view those sobering facts as reasons why your child shouldn’t pursue a higher education.

Instead, parents should take an active role in encouraging their sons and daughters to apply for scholarships to make attaining that higher education goal a little easier on the pocketbook.

Crunch numbers and see how much it will cost to put your child through college. While students should be encouraged to aim for their dream schools, make sure they are considering the often more affordable community college options too.

Get your taxes done early so you can get a Free Application for Federal Student Aid in, which will tell you how much the government and schools can offer.

There’s no lack of available scholarships for students to pursue. National and regional organizations offer scholarships, and so do local service clubs, businesses, and even the sheriff’s office and farm bureau.

The money is out there: It just takes time to find it.

We encourage local high school counselors to help students by being as communicative as possible with families so they are aware of all the opportunities that await them.

The researching of and applying for scholarships will take time – but the return could be monumental. Make that investment.

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