Financial Aid 101: How to Apply for College Scholarships
56% of all students that attend college admit to not being able to afford their college tuition. This includes other living expenses that come with being away from home as well. For this reason, most seek the help of financial aid in the form of grants or scholarships to help cover most or a portion of their education funds.
Although there are tons of scholarships out there to apply for, students and parents may still be wondering how to apply for college scholarships. And find the ones that will work the best for them. In this article, we’re going to provide a brief guide with all the answers you need to ensure that you start college off on the right foot.
Before you can start applying for scholarships, you’ve got to find the ones that are right for you. When you’re in high school, your counselors talk to you about the different types of scholarships that there are available but not exactly where you can find all of them to begin the application process.
There are tons of places where you can find scholarships that are available to upcoming college students. For example, one of the easiest ways to find scholarships is to search the internet.
With evolving technology, you’ve got to take advantage of every available resource. Now the downside of searching for scholarships this way is that any and every scholarship out there is going to pop up in your search. And this means you’ll have to sift through them until you find the one that’s going to work for you.
Or you can use one of the many available scholarship websites. On these websites, you can enter information like your state, age, and more. This will help to narrow down further the scholarship that will work the best for you.
We also recommend checking with your high school or the college you will be attending, as both will have a list of current scholarship opportunities that are available to students to take advantage of. You’ve got to move quickly because you’re not the only student who will have thought to check these places.
Understand the Requirements
When we find something that sounds good, we start applying without giving it a second thought. However, when it comes to college scholarships, it’s best if you read all the instructions before beginning the process. The reason is that you want to have a clear understanding of the requirements for the scholarship, and you don’t want to get halfway through the application process only to realize that you don’t qualify for a specific application.
If the application calls for an essay or references, you’ll want to note the deadline to give yourself enough time to write and get things turned in.
Some scholarships will require that you attach a cover letter, resume, or student transcripts before being considered an applicant. Taking the time to gather all this information before applying will save you time that could cause you to miss vital deadlines.
Create a To-Do List
As your senior year comes to an end, there are tons of things that you’ve got to focus on. Things like getting ready for graduation, applying to school, and applying for scholarships. We recommend that you create a to-do list with all the things you need to accomplish on it.
This way, you won’t be waiting until the last second to complete all your applications, which reduces the likelihood of turning in work that isn’t your best and reduces your parents' frustration and anxiety.
Take Your Time
Once you sit down to fill out the application, you need to take your time. You’ll want to ensure that all the information your putting on the application is updated and accurate because the last thing you want is to be awarded a scholarship. Depending on the type of computer you have, you may be able to use the auto-fill feature that places your information in the correct areas.
You can set auto-fill by going to your settings. However, you should always check the autofill to make sure everything is correct.
Read the Instructions
You need to read the instructions once, twice, maybe three times before you begin to fill out the application. Some applications require you to stick to a specific essay word count or that you use one of the essay prompts that they’ve provided for you.
If you don’t take the time to read through the instructions, not only will you miss something important, but you’ll also run the risk of disqualifying yourself from the scholarship running.
Once you’ve completed your application, all that’s left to do is submit everything. But, before you do that, take the time to go through everything once more. Ensure you’ve included everything the application has asked for, whether that’s recommendation letters, transcripts, or an essay.
Your parents may want to review your application as well, checking one more time that everything is there. Once you’ve made certain, you’ve got everything, all that’s left to do is submit your application and wait to hear back on who the scholarship winners are.
How to Apply For College Scholarships
When it comes to answering how to apply for college scholarships, the guide provided above should help you accomplish this. Remember to take your time and find the scholarship that’s right for you and check the requirements before beginning the application process.
Contact us here at the Honor Society, we should be at the top of your list for good reason. Not only do we offer scholarships to qualifying students, but we also provide opportunities that include internships and study abroad trips.