Scholarships are a widely available and often forgotten tool that can save you a lot of money in the future. Finding relevant scholarships and sending in the best possible application will heighten your chances and potentially result in an award that is well worth the time.
Find the Right Fit
Many people are under the impression that scholarships are only available for superior athletics or incredibly good grades, they are wrong. While most of the major, full-ride scholarships are a result of those two, there are thousands of scholarships available to the average college students. Going through and figuring out which are applicable to your skills, hobbies, and past experiences is the most difficult process. Many college related websites, such as Collegeboard, offer information regarding all different types. It gives viewers the option to scan through titles or search for specific items. There are scholarships based on heritage, hair color, and gardening; so there is quite literally something for everybody. Whether it is a grant for $500 or a $10,000 stipend, any money will prove incredibly useful in the future. Sit down and take your time to come up with a list of ten applications that directly relate to you and seem appealing.
After creating a list of relatable scholarships, it is time to get organized. Depending on the application, some will require copies of birth certificates, parent’s financial information, and proof of lineage. All will require some form of transcript and personal essay to learn a more about you. By keeping a separate manila folder for each application, it will lessen the chance of items getting mixed up and ruining your chances. On the inside of the folder, write out a list of all the required documents. With the list staring you in the face, there is no reason to be unprepared. In regards to the personal essay, sit down and plan out exactly what you need and want to say. Having a well thought out outline will give you more time to focus on the wording of your essay rather than stressing over the content. Keep a thesaurus handy to really enhance your vocabulary and limit word repetition. Doing these small tasks will greatly benefit your application as a whole, while making the process as stress-free as possible.
Ask for Help
College counselors will have access to most scholarships offered to students. By making an appointment and discussing your options, you will have a better idea as to what are applicable to the schools your are looking into. They can also give you ideas for your personal essays and demonstrate the best way to answer questions. Your parents are also a great tool to utilize, they will most likely know your accomplishments as well if not better than you. They can look over all the financial information that may be needed and share anything regarding family history. If you want to get the application taken care of over the weekend, parents can look over writing for grammatical errors and offer suggestions regarding content. Asking for a little help can mean the difference between an acceptance and a denial, it only makes sense to utilize your tools.
Searching for scholarships may seem like a tedious and time-consuming task but will be well worth it in the end. No matter the amount of money, every little bit helps.