Do you have big dreams of attending university or college, but you don’t have the funds to pay for it? Sure, you can apply for a student loan, but it’s a loan which means you will be required to pay it back, likely with interest, over time. If that doesn’t appeal to you much, then it’s time to look into scholarships. Scholarships come in all kinds of different amounts. Some are classified as full scholarships meaning your entire schooling will be paid for, and others will cover a partial amount.
Here in the US, scholarships are in pretty high demand. When you look at the fact that a public in-state university costs just over $20,000 per year to attend, it should come as no wonder that prospective students are looking into scholarships at a rapid pace. Of course, finding a scholarship and then being awarded one takes a little know-how and finesse, as we will discuss.
Where to Start?
The first issue you’ll need to tackle is where to look for available scholarships. It’s pretty hard to apply to them when you don’t even know where to find them. Nowadays, much of the information you need can be found online. Take, for example, the usascholarships.com website, which provides information for all kinds of available scholarships in the country. You’ll find everything from big popular ones, to those lesser-known more obscure scholarships you’ve probably never heard of.
Outside of this site, it’s also a good idea to look around locally. If you happen to have a part-time or full-time job at the moment, check with your employer to see if they offer a scholarship program. While you’re at it, check with local businesses if they offer anything. Remember, there’s nothing to stop you from getting multiple scholarships, so even if they seem small, once you add them up they will give you a significant amount of money.
Another tip that many don’t realize is that sometimes the college or university itself may offer an entrance scholarship program. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask.
Tips When Applying
As you go through the various options, you’ll find that different scholarships ask different things of you in the application process. Keep in mind that the more work that is required of you, the less people will apply. What this means is less competition that you need to deal with. So don’t instantly shy away from those that seem a bit more tedious in the process.
You want to be sure you also don’t rush through the application process. Take your time, really think about your responses, put effort into your essay, and spend time getting those letters of recommendation. All of these extra steps and care will help to make your application look that much more professional and passionate. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in the application process. This is what will end up setting you apart from others.
Stay Positive Throughout
Searching for and then applying for scholarships can be a long and very stressful process, so it’s important you stay positive and believe in yourself and your abilities throughout.