Share this page Twitter RSS Facebook

How To Apply For A College Scholarship

Every year millions of scholarships are awarded to students, worth billions of dollars. These could be offered by schools, private companies, individuals, communities, religious groups, social organizations and many more to name. They could help you pay the entire tuition cost or they could also be a one time affair. In both cases, eventually they help you reduce your education cost and you must try your best to avail them. It does require some time and effort on your part but it is worth it.

There are several ways you can find out about legitimate scholarships, it may be your financial aid office, school counselor, libraries or even internet. Also, ask guidance from the counselor on local scholarships. They are much easier to win as compared to national or regional ones.

Time Frame

The time to apply for a scholarship also matters. Every scholarship has its own time frame and this needs to be followed. Research on this when applying for a specific scholarship. Some of the scholarships are even offered right before college. So the right time to start applying is between your junior and senior years. But still, if you have lost that window, don’t fret! You can always search for more and find the right one for you.

Scholarship Search Engines

There are many scholarship search engines that will make your hunt easier. There is Fastweb, scholarships.com, College Data and many more that you can look into. While searching for scholarships fill your background thoroughly. By thorough, I mean even answer the optional questions. You may find double the number of scholarships through this tip. Many students skip the optional questions to get it done with quickly but believe me this doesn’t help.

Scholarship Sponsor

When filling in your application form, the first thing to search is about the company or individual providing the scholarship. It is very important that you know what they are looking for in their selection of students. You must know about their objective so that you may fill the form accordingly. Make sure to read the application carefully, fill it completely and submit before the deadline. Research on the panel deciding the scholarship. Connect with him through your application. 

Volunteering

Volunteering is a big plus point in the eyes of the scholarship sponsors. They are looking for students who have a commitment to volunteer work. This is because sponsors are also providing support to others without any profit. And so they are in search of such students who also help others.

Professionalism

You need to clear your social media of any unprofessional history. You need to appear professional on your social accounts or to state it more directly, BE BORING! Yes, it does sound absolutely unnecessary as it is your personal life but believes me, this might do the trick! Students who are serious towards their career and future are considered more appropriate for scholarships. It may seem like you need to enjoy your life at this point but believe me making it look serious now will make it easier for you in the future.

Preliminary Material

You need to provide your high school transcripts, SAT score, and your parent’s financial standing as an initial draft. You could seek help from your school counselor and parents on this. Start collecting these early. Don't wait for the last moment. 

Less is More

Be on the lookout of every eligible scholarship. Even if it is very small, apply for it. Don’t take these small scholarships for granted as they are a huge opportunity. The reason being a lot of the times, very few students apply for smaller scholarships; this increases your chance of getting it. Be honest; don’t exaggerate about your grades, skills or qualifications. You need to be true on your application. If you say too much without any proof, this may weaken your chances of getting a scholarship. The sponsors find honesty as a big virtue and you may get lucky.

Essay Competitions

Now, don’t be lazy when it comes to applying for scholarships. Some scholarships ask for an essay and students skip those finding it an extra job to complete. But taking part in these competitions gives you an extra benefit. Also proofread your content thoroughly as simple mistakes or missing material make a huge impact on your winning or losing the scholarship.

Also, your essay must be passionate about the subject. You need to write it in a detail and your words must be expressive. Let your inner voice speak out in your words. It is also a good idea if you identify a problem and then give out solutions. This makes it sound meaningful.

Proper guidance and hard work can help you gain scholarships easily. If a scholarship doesn't work for you, you should consider applying for a student loan. Check out the Sallie Mae student loans for further guidance.