My son is a senior in high school this year and is planning to go to college next year. I am looking for some ideas of places that I could look for scholarship money to ease the financial pain. -- Broke


Looking for scholarship money should largely be the task of students, with input from their parents. Unfortunately, many students have no idea of how to go about finding scholarship money, and many schools do not have counselors who can give sufficient help.

First, both you and your son need to understand exactly what is involved in getting a scholarship. Visit such websites as www.finaid.org, www.studentaid.ed.gov, www.

collegeboard.org and our website, www.dearteacher.com. This must be done quickly, as deadlines will be approaching for many scholarship applications. You both also need to be aware of website scams offering to find scholarships for students and then just providing huge lists of possible scholarships.

Your goal should be to serve as your child's mentor in his search for scholarships. Help him limit his search to scholarships that he is realistically a good candidate for. A good place to start is to investigate the scholarships offered through his high school, local community organizations, your workplace and your state. At the same time, he should look for scholarships offered by the colleges that he would like to attend.