While the United States remains the most popular student destination in the world, it is also one of the most pricey. University costs have risen dramatically in the last decade. Thus, applying for scholarships is a great way to pay for college and lower your tuition fees.
Nowadays, students can save thousands of dollars each year by using scholarships. “Gift aid” is a term used to describe scholarships and grants. They do not have to be reimbursed. Furthermore, you can apply for multiple scholarships and combine awards to reduce the need for student loans.
If you've been deliberating when to start applying for a scholarship, the time has come. You can apply for scholarships as early as you want, and the general rule is that the earlier you apply, the better. There are many options to learn about scholarships, including contacting the financial aid office at the college you attend and researching information in a public library or online.
You don't have to be a genius or a celebrity star to win a scholarship – scholarships are available to students of all backgrounds. However, you will need to invest time and energy into your search.
WHERE TO FIND
It is highly suggested to be as specific as possible when searching online. For example, simply typing "scholarships" will fetch tens of thousands of results. To help narrow the scope, use qualifiers such as the names of schools and programs of study. Then, start with just two scholarship websites and then broaden your search if you don't find what you're looking for.
Fastweb.com can help you find scholarships, grants, and internships that you are qualified for. You can get a scholarship list right away based on your strengths, interests, student activities, and skills.
Coordinate With School Counselors
School counselors and academic advisors usually have scholarship information that you won't find anywhere else. They may recommend unique scholarships based on your abilities, extracurricular activities, ethnicity, or athleticism. Besides, most schools have scholarship opportunities listed on their website, along with search tips, external links, and FAQs. If you need something that isn't listed on the website, contact academic advisors directly. Keep in mind that you do not have to pay to find scholarships or other forms of financial aid.
Search in Your Community
Inform your employer, coaches, friends, and community members that you are looking for scholarships. Foundations, community organizations, and religious groups are other places that can offer scholarships. Check with local businesses to see if they provide any community scholarships. You may need to call them, visit them, or ask around to be put in touch with the appropriate person.
HOW TO APPLY
The scholarship website should provide you with information on who is eligible for the scholarship and how to apply. Make sure that you read the application carefully, complete it thoroughly, and submit it by the application deadline.
Gather Recommendation Letters
Scholarship and college applications typically necessitate a few letters of recommendation from teachers and community members, coaches, high school counselors, or other adults who can attest to your abilities, qualifications, and ambition and are most familiar with you.
Write a Strong Essay
Applying for scholarships would be simple if it didn’t require writing an essay, which often forces us to reflect on ourselves, who we are as people, and what we've accomplished thus far in life. It allows you to express your personality and what you are most proud of in life. Therefore, your scholarship application informs, while your scholarship essay persuades.
Follow up on Your Scholarship Status
Every organization that awards scholarships has its own set of qualifying criteria, as well as its own selection and notification process. Some of them only notify successful applicants, whereas others send award and rejection letters.
Examine the scholarship information. If the form specifies a deadline for when the winners will be announced, you should wait until that date has passed before making a call or sending an email. If no deadline or timeline is specified, you may proceed by making inquiries.
Unfortunately, the internet is filled with frauds and scams that prey on students and steal their money. Make use of tools to become acquainted with the warning signs so that you do not fall victim to student scams.
- Never pay to apply for scholarships or financial aid. True scholarships exist to help you, not to take advantage of you.
- Do not trust guarantees. Legitimate sponsors never guarantee you will get the scholarship.
- Do not provide your Social Security number or any other personal information. A genuine sponsor will never ask you for personal information that you should not be giving out.
Last Word to Students
You may have to look through a hundred scholarships before you find the one that is right for you. So, be patient, persevere, and keep your grades up. You'll finally find a good match. Even if you don't get a scholarship right away, keep trying. Make backups of every application you finish so you don't have to start from scratch every time.