Finding and Applying for Scholarships

When thinking about finding and applying for scholarships, it’s important to keep in mind it’s never too early to start working on a “scholarship résumé.” Getting a head start makes a huge difference in being able to afford that dream ivy-league college.

When planning for scholarships it’s incorrect to assume people who don’t excel at sports or have a GPA of less than 3.5 are ineligible. While you do indeed have a better chance at getting one if you have a valuable skill or higher scores there still might be lots of options available.

Fortunately, there are scholarship comparison websites that provide a detailed search among the databases of hundreds of colleges based on certain criteria to find the best match for you. Additionally you’ll be able to compare the cost of attendance and room and board and contact the college directly to inquire.

College Scholarships

Scholarships allocated by colleges are the most common type. Typically the best place to check out for this type of scholarship is the college’s website, brochure and financial aid materials. There can be awards designated for specific majors or several that are applicable to the entire student base.

You may wish to check if the college automatically puts your name in for its scholarships upon submitting your financial aid forms. It’s best to consult a financial aid officer on this matter..

Outside Scholarships

Outside scholarships are those administered by non-government organizations. They typically cover a small part of your college tuition bill, but can be used to meet living costs.

Local Scholarships

Consult with you school counsellor about awards for students graduating from the high school you’re attending and for local residents of your town, county and state. The best place to search for information is online and in the public library.

These types of scholarships are typically sponsored by:

Churches, mosques, synagogues or other religious community centres
Local branches of non-government organizations
Local employers

State Scholarships

Almost every state has a scholarship program for residents, and the awards are usually limited to students who will attend college in that same state. For example, the State of Florida offers Bright Futures Scholarships to qualified Floridians who will attend college in state.

The best plan is to start your search early! Finding and applying for scholarships requires time. Aim for large scholarships, but don’t overlook the smaller ones. Consider applying for scholarships the same as applying for admission. You will need to put your best effort into the application because funds are scarce and the selection process is meticulous. Take extra care with the essay questions and never submit the same essay for all awards you are applying for.

There’s roughly 3+ billion USD available in scholarships. Always research and apply to scholarships based on your background and abilities. Discuss with your guidance counsellor. Colleges, heritage and professional organizations, corporations, community businesses, churches, and civic groups are all sources of funding in the form of grants and scholarships. There are different criteria, but most consider GPA, test scores, activities, or may require an essay, recommendations, and an interview. Tailor every application accordingly. Amounts range from hundreds of dollars to the coverage of your full tuition, so choose wisely.