May 29, 2022
College is Expensive. Here's How to Get a Scholarship

College is Expensive. Here’s How to Get a Scholarship

 

There are many financial benefits to getting a college education in the U.S., but not everyone can afford it. Fortunately, the application process for scholarships can be much easier than the one required to get into colleges and universities, especially if you know where to look for funding opportunities and take advantage of them early on in your high school career. Learn more about applying for scholarships in this guide.

Tips for Winning Scholarships
Many students are overwhelmed with educational expenses, especially during and after college. Between tuition, textbooks, travel and lodging expenses, plus food and other incidentals, it’s not uncommon for students to rack up $50k or more in student loans by graduation day—and that doesn’t even count rent and utilities! If you need some extra money for your schooling without having to take out loans, here are five tips for winning scholarships at every level of education.
Reasons You Won’t Win a Scholarship: The unfortunate truth is that most scholarship applications end up being rejected, regardless of how high-achieving you might be. Some groups even have all their slots filled in advance based on donor contributions or board preference. Follow these tips if you’re struggling to get past a scholarship judge.
Why Scholarships Matter: One of the hardest parts about applying for scholarships can be wrapping your head around just why they matter so much. It makes sense that taking out student loans isn’t ideal, but why put so much effort into free money? Take a look at reasons why scholarships matter when paying for education.
Who Is Eligible for Scholarships?: Whether you’re pursuing a degree online or through a traditional university setting, there are millions of scholarships available to help ease costs. Students should start thinking about awards as soon as possible; however, there are particular requirements necessary before applying to any eligible award.
Ways To Land More Private Scholarships: Private scholarships aren’t new; they’ve been used in higher education since well before colleges ever dreamed up financial aid offices.

Showcase your skills
Colleges want to give you money because they know your talents will help them in some way; it’s an investment in their future. Apply for scholarships based on what your skill set is: write poetry? Write an essay about how you use poetry as a means of social commentary and how attending college will help you improve your craft.

Demonstrate your passion
Showing passion for what you’re studying will help you stand out from other applicants and give admissions officers something to talk about in their review of your application. For example, if you were hoping to apply for an engineering scholarship, think about volunteering with your school’s robotics club or working as an intern at a local company that does engineering work. The more involved you are in campus clubs and organizations, or off-campus leadership positions, such as community service activities or athletics—the better!

Find the right scholarship
Many students don’t understand that there are multiple types of scholarships, each with its own requirements and restrictions. For example, some state governments offer tuition scholarships for top students in high school; others provide scholarships for specific fields of study; some require you to come from a low-income background; others are contingent on a student’s race or ethnicity.

Ask the right people
Not all scholarships are advertised, and not all scholarships are awarded based on merit alone—sometimes there’s an element of luck in getting one (or two) of these bad boys. So why not maximize your chances by talking to everyone you know who has access to money for college? Parents, family friends, and teachers are usually good places to start—and don’t forget about your local community foundation or university office that helps award scholarships as well!

Start Early

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