Applying for scholarships can be your gold mine in paying for college. With the amount of scholarships up for grabs, students can be easily overwhelmed by the task, but the effort pays off with lump sums awarded either directly to your school, or to you. So we’ve done our research and put together ten scholarship hacks to get you started:
10 Tips and Tricks Used by the Astute Scholarship Hunter:
- Look for University Specific Scholarships: Don’t forget to look into scholarships specific to the universities where you’ve been accepted. Those scholarships typically have March or April deadlines.
- Look for Major Specific Scholarships: If you know what college within that University you’ll be in (business, education, engineering, exercise science, etc.) search for major specific scholarships. Many students miss out on these because they don’t even know they exist
- Estimate ROI: While the short surveys that take about 15 minutes to fill out are nice and easy, the return on your investment of time is not very substantial. Think about it: most kids have no problem devoting 15 minutes to filling out a form. However, the pool of applicants drastically reduces once an essay is required. There is an even smaller applicant pool when more than one essay is required. Use this to your advantage
- Employ these Essay Hacks: As far as scholarship essays are concerned, once you write about three of them, you’ll realize that you just need to alter that essay a bit from one application to the next. Spend some quality time writing a few good essays. Have a trusted teacher or career counselor look over what you’ve written.
- Be You. If you write an essay, don’t write what you think the scholarship committee wants to read. Be honest. Be yourself. Be open. Give them a sense of who you are, what experiences have made you who you are, and what you truly want to accomplish with your education and training.
- If You Have to Pay don’t Play. You should NEVER be asked to pay to apply for a scholarship. If you are asked for your financial information, or asked to pay a fee to submit a scholarship application, know that you are being preyed upon.
- Create #ScholarshipGoals: Commit to submitting at least two scholarships per week, every week, or develop a number that is both realistic and challenging for you.
- Apply for Excess Scholarship to Pay for Living Expenses: If you are in the armed forces, still apply for scholarships even if the government is paying for your school. Any excess money you earn through scholarships will pay for other necessities like rent, groceries or gas while you are in school. In addition, this rule applies to anyone. Any excess money outside of your tuition will be refunded to you to be used for other expenses.
- Use your Resources. Get to know your counselor at school. Search your school’s scholarship resource list. Many counseling departments put together fantastic lists of scholarship applications. If your school doesn’t have one, or if it isn’t that robust, search the websites of other high schools or school districts in your area. Use the resources that others have compiled already to maximize your time spent applying and minimize your time spent searching.
- Get a Head Start. When it comes to scholarship applications, procrastination does not pay off. The most important piece of advice that we could give you is to just get started. NOW!
Good luck and never give up on your dreams!
Learning should be a joy and full of excitement. It is life’s greatest adventure; it is an illustrated excursion into the minds of the noble and the learned. ~ Taylor Caldwell