Scholarships are a great way to help pay for college, but they can be hard to come by. Competition is fierce, and the process can be daunting. But don’t worry—we’re here to help. In this blog post, Carl Iberger provides you with some tips on finding and applying for scholarships so that you can make the most of your college funding opportunities.
1. Get organized.
The first step in applying for scholarships is to get yourself organized. Gather all necessary materials—transcripts, test scores, essays, recommendations, etc.—so that you have everything in one place. Having everything in one place will not only save you time and stress but also ensure that you don’t miss any deadlines or overlook any requirements.
2. Start early and take your time.
The earlier you start searching for scholarships, the better. And when you do find potential opportunities, take your time in completing the applications. Rushing through them is only going to increase your chances of making mistakes or leaving something important out.
3. Think outside the box.
When most people think of scholarships, they think of academic merit scholarships or need-based awards from their chosen colleges or universities. But there are many other types of scholarships out there. For example, you can find scholarships based on your extracurricular activities, interests, background, or even family history. So don’t limit yourself—explore all of your options!
4. Utilize scholarship search engines and databases.
Many great online resources can help you find scholarships that you may be eligible for. And don’t forget about your college’s financial aid office—they should have a list of scholarships that are available to students at your school.
Types of scholorships:
Extracurricular activity scholarships: If you’re involved in sports, music, theater, or any other extracurricular activity, there may be scholarship money available to you. Check with your coach or director to see if they know of any awards you may be eligible for.
Interest-based scholarships: There are scholarships available for just about every interest imaginable. From poetry to roller derby to fire safety, if you can think of it, someone has probably created a scholarship around it. The best way to find these types of awards is to do a simple Google search or explore scholarship databases like Fastweb or Scholarships.com.
Background-based scholarships: Many organizations offer scholarships specifically for students from certain backgrounds or with specific identities (e., women, minorities, LGBTQIA+ students, first-generation college students). Do some research to see if any organizations support students like you, and check out their websites to see what kind of aid they offer.
Family history-based scholarships: Believe it or not, there are also quite a few scholarships for students with particular familial ties (e., children of military veterans or immigrants). Talk to your parents or guardians about any family history that may make you eligible for these kinds of awards.
Conclusion: Applying for scholarships can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! By following these simple tips—getting organized, starting early, thinking outside the box, utilizing search engines and databases, and asking around —you’ll be well on landing the college funding you need. Good luck!