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Be A Leader helps students pay for college

Be A Leader's Hannah Solomon is at South Mountain High School every Thursday and Friday to help students apply for college and scholarships more. You can sign up to see her in the counseling office.

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Be A Leader's Hannah Solomon is at South Mountain High School every Thursday and Friday to help students apply for college and scholarships more. You can sign up to see her in the counseling office.

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Hannah Solomon, a college transition specialist for the Be A Leader Foundation, is on South Mountain’s campus every Thursday and Friday to help students apply for college, scholarships, and more. She wants students to understand how difficult it can be to apply for scholarships.

“Not everybody can afford college,” Solomon said. “If it wasn’t for [scholarships] I probably would not [have been] able to go to Arizona State. It’s basically free money. The only true guidelines [are] that you keep your GPA at a decent rate and then keep your grades well … academically.”

Solomon said that the best time to apply for college admissions is from August through November, but students can apply for scholarships anytime. The earlier, the better. Scholarships can vary from $50 to many thousands of dollars. It’s important not to ignore the little scholarships, because they can be just as helpful and easier to get.

“Don’t limit yourself and apply for as many as you can,” Solomon said. “ If you qualify for it, apply for it. That’s my motto when it comes to scholarships. Scholarships open doors for so many students.”

Solomon wants to warn students about scholarship websites that could be scams.

“Come to me. [Be A Leader has] all the legitimate sources,” she said. “Do not give out your personal information if you do not trust it. That’s my best advice.”

Some ways to detect if a scholarship website is a scam is if they ask for an application fee, even if it’s a few dollars. Legitimate sites won’t take your money. They want to give it to you. If there’s no phone number be extremely cautious. Many scams don’t give out numbers, because they’re easy to trace. If they ask for personal financial information, it’s a scam. A legitimate scholarship wouldn’t need your credit card, bank account, or social security number. If you find a scholarship scam report it by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Students can contact Hannah Solomon by visiting the counseling office and signing up for an appointment, calling or texting her at 602-321-2661, or through her email at [email protected].

Elizabeth Ochoa and Marissa De Santiago contributed with this article. 

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