Surviving the Scholarship Process
Whether you are filling out the CommonApplication or trying to write your final thesis, the expenses of attending college are on everyone's mind. The price tag for attending school is dramatically increasing every year, which is causing a burden on your wallets and accessibility to go to college. Scholarships are critical if you need assistance with financial aid and an extra supply of money to help pay for textbooks and boarding. Today I am going to share some tips with you about applying for scholarships and where to find the best scholarships for you!
Be Organized and Diligent!
Scholarships are not going to just appear on your lap out of thin air. They require a lot of additional time and energy to find the applications and write persuasive essays. However, this time is one hundred percent worth it if you can cut down the cost of attending college. It is helpful to have a binder dedicated only to scholarship’s and you can print out the essay questions, due dates, and any other information that can be helpful. This binder will be like your Bible. Reference it daily and update it with additional requirements and making sure you have everything completed by its due date.
Where do you Actually Find Scholarships?
There are so many scholarships out there that it can be complicated to weed through them all and find the scholarships that meet your requirements. School and work are two quick and easy places to find scholarships to apply for. Most college’s have career center’s where they’ll have a database of applications and if you’re in high school, you can meet with your adviser for advice. If you work for a large corporation, they will sometimes offer scholarships or tuition reimbursement as a way of saying thank you for working for them. Don’t be afraid to ask for your boss if they have any knowledge about an opportunity like this.
Earlier this month, I talked about this comprehensive scholarship guide in this blog post. I highly recommend checking it our because it details seventeen of the top scholarship search platforms for 2018 and the pros and cons of each one. Fastweb and Cappex are the leading platforms for students who want the most available scholarships and the most tools. Check them out!
Pick the scholarships that you are most passionate about, not the one with the highest reward.
Although it may seem obvious to apply for the scholarships with the million dollar price tag, that application is going to receive countless submissions and the likelihood of winning becomes incredibly thin. Take the extra time to find scholarships that have essay questions that you are excited to write about. The committee that reads your response will be able to tell if you are passionate about the topic, or cutting and pasting your essay from another application. Give the committee a reason to pick you. What makes you stand out? Do you have a unique story to tell? This is the time to let them know.
FAFSA & State-Based Grants
Please please please, fill out the FAFSA. It’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and it can help you get college grants and may help you apply for particular state grants as well. This application must be filled out every year to renew the amount of aid you qualify for. It doesn’t hurt to apply even if you don’t think you’ll receive much assistance!
Meet the deadlines!
This may seem straightforward, but often students get wrapped up in their day to day lives and end up writing the essay’s the night before they are due. You should start working on the essay’s as soon as possible to make sure you meet all of the deadlines and give yourself time to collect any additional materials, such as transcripts or letters of recommendations.
This whole process may seem daunting, but trust me, it is worthwhile when you receive a letter in the mail saying you’ve won the scholarship. Don’t give up and apply for a lot of different awards to increase your chances. Keep trying, and you’ve got this!
Talk to you on Friday,
A College Girl