Scholarships aren’t just for high school athletes or students with back-to-back AP courses, there are tons of scholarships available to all students if families know where and how to look for them. Scholarships are a great way to mitigate the cost of college without the heavy weight of a large loan payment post-grad. Multiple small scholarships can often be just as beneficial as large scholarships, and can cover the cost of books, meal plans, and transportation as well as being applied to credit hours. It’s easy to get a scholarship if you follow these helpful tips:
Start early. The wider you spread your net, the more chance you have of impressing the right scholarship board and winning that scholarship! There are a variety of scholarships offered at different times of the year, so starting early (and continuing regularly!) helps expand the number of opportunities.
Keep a schedule. Once you’ve chosen scholarships to apply for, know when the submission deadlines are and create a schedule to complete the necessary submission items by then. Remember, you can never win a scholarship you don’t apply for.
Think local. Check your local newspaper, guidance counselor bulletin board, civic center, church, any other local community-based organizations, and even your prospective college about opportunities they have through their financial office. Usually local scholarships are more easily accessible for the average student, because they’re focused more on location rather than other unique abilities.
Follow directions. Most scholarships require some form of reflection or explanation on why you deserve their scholarship. Remember to read carefully and follow their directions, or your submission will likely be overlooked completely. Send all requested elements in one package to avoid confusion and possible disqualification.
Proofread. Putting your best foot forward means no grammatical mishaps or accidental errors. Always proofread your work, and get someone else to proofread it as well, to avoid useless mistakes that could potentially make you ineligible for a scholarship. Taking the extra time earlier on means you don’t have to worry about it later.
Find the best scholarships. First step to winning a scholarship is finding one. Websites like http://www.fastweb.com/, https://www.collegeboard.org/, https://www.scholarships.com/, and https://scholarshipamerica.org/ all help connect a student with the best scholarships for their needs at a national level.