When you are applying for College or University, always look for scholarships before you opt for getting a student loan. If a scholarship is covering your educational expenses in part or full, there will be little to no need of getting a study loan. The scholarship amount is free money that doesn’t need to be paid back. Usually, there is no restriction on how many scholarships you can apply for, so you can apply to as many as you want. But, there may be restrictions on how many you can get. In that case, there is always the option of choosing the best one/s.
I drafted this article to guide students on how they can find scholarships and make application submissions in the right way to maximize their chance of winning a scholarship.
Where to look for Scholarships?
There are five ways to find scholarships:
- Scholarships offered by organizations and University Finaid office:
One wouldn’t usually see his/her hobbies as a way of getting through college, but, it is possible. Scholarship opportunities are for a diverse group of people. These are not just for students with outstanding academic background. You can get a scholarship even if you are good at crafting, gaming, trekking, etc. These kinds of scholarships are offered directly by companies, organizations, and even at the College financial aid department kiosks.
- Sign up for Scholarship Updates:
There are hundreds of websites updating scholarship listings on a daily basis. You can sign up for them and can apply for the scholarships matching your skillset. These websites also allow you to add filters so that you only get relevant results.
- Get in contact with your school’s career counselor and other relevant people:
Discuss financing your higher education with your school counselor. Look out for new opportunities in your community. You can hear of a good scholarship opportunity through your parents’ workplace, your church, or the place you volunteer yourself for.
- Search for Scholarship Opportunities for Minorities:
You can also get a scholarship if you belong to a minority group. There are some scholarships available exclusively for women, so check them out.
- Keep a close eye on ‘Scholarship’ pages of College and University websites:
Colleges and University websites have a dedicated section called ‘scholarships’, where they update their scholarship offerings every now and then. Students are advised to bookmark those pages and check them regularly to find the latest scholarships offered directly by colleges and universities.
When and How to apply for Scholarships?
Apply for scholarships as soon as the applications are open. Increase your chances of getting one by applying to as many as possible. There are some scholarships that open a year before the college is due to start. So you may need to be quick in applying for them.
If you miss the deadline for one, don’t waste time and apply for the other. Also, keep applying for scholarships once you get in college. There are a number of scholarships available to students who are in the subsequent years of college.
Tips for Scholarship application submissions:
- Refrain from paying for scholarship searches. There are plenty of free options out there which will get you the help you want. Do not ignore word of mouth. School counselors and professors can help you a lot in applying for relevant scholarships.
- Don’t rule out small grants. Even a few hundred bucks can offset your textbooks and meals cost.
- Be honest in stating your grades, interests, skills, and achievements. The scholarship committees look through the lies through fact-checking. You will be more likely to get a scholarship if you apply for the ones which match your skillset.
- Scholarships are also for students who are in the later years of college. To apply for them every year that you are in college.
- Pay special attention to scholarship essays and recommendation letters. These things can make all the difference. Proofread before sending it. Typos, grammatical errors, and wrong sentence structuring will only get your application disqualified.
- Don’t miss the deadline in any case. Use certified mailing companies for sending the application if it cant be sent electronically. Start preparing way ahead of time for the scholarships which will take more time to apply.
Here is our premium list of scholarships available in the 2021-2022 academic session for all courses and programs and students.