Tips When Searching for Scholarships
I like to pride myself in being the major explorer of scholarships. Let’s be honest, we all want ways to pay for college as little as possible or not at all. So here are my tips for searching for those perfect scholarships just for you.
The first important feature you want to look into is the due date to apply. Have your eye specifically looking out for those, because the last thing you want to do is read too much into a scholarship that you want to apply for, only to realize that you either don’t have enough time left or the opportunity has already walked away from you. However, when your eye does catch onto a great due date that’s within your reach, the next feature you want to look into is the requirements. Search to see whether they only want a certain group: highschoolers, college students, if a certain gpa is required, aspiring degree, or what amount of credits you need to have, say the upcoming semester or currently. These are very general aspects that scholarships will state before hand when you’re browsing.
The next major step (no pun intended), is to look at the major they are aiming for if the scholarship is indeed asking for college students and you meet their general requirements. This is very important! I have done this to myself several times. I looked at the due dates, check, general requirements, check, and immediately afterward I start reading what I need to do in order to get the scholarship; what I need to write. Little did I know, that scholarship would only pertain to a certain group of people. You may be an English student, like myself, and when you read a scholarship that asks for a general essay that’s very detailed, you may think, hey I can do that. Then you realize they only want tech students even though it’s obviously an essay everyone can do. That’s the case sometimes. So always stay alert.
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with looking at this. Don’t make yourself feel as though you’re being cheap or snooty just because you want to check out the amount. These scholarships are to help you along with your college ride. So yes, definitely keep your eyes on lookout for an amount that pleases you. You may meet all the requirements listed above but you may also need a good chunk of money to help you. That said, don’t set your standards too high. If you do this, you can guarantee that you’ll never find a scholarship you can enter. And if you can’t find that certain amount your looking for, applying for those that give a couple of hundreds of dollars can together create a great amount to help pay for your college experience.
Now that you have all of that out of the way, what skills are they looking for in their candidate? If this scholarship does pertain to you and you do meet everything above, consider this question before starting. What you don’t want to do is simply follow the instructions and what they’re asking for. Be aware of your general or specific skills when working on it. Though they may be asking for one thing, when they look at your work, they’re most likely searching for something more. After all, you don’t want to be like the rest of the candidates, you want to stand out and win. Remember, you’re in competition with a lot more people with skills they believe make them great contenders as well.
Always check with your advisor, counselor, or friends, yes friends, to see if there are any scholarships that you can apply for. Something you probably don’t realize is that your friends have a lot of connections to places with great scholarships. Places that your counselor or advisor can often times overlook. For example, I was complaining to my friend one day that I could no longer find any scholarship contenders, and when he heard that, he told me of a place on our university’s website that holds tons of scholarships that most of our students at our school overlook because the school doesn’t promote it enough. Little did I know, in the future, there would be three scholarships that I earned from that particular website all thanks to my friend. So yes, of course advisors and counselors will have good places to offer, plenty of students know that, but sometimes looking towards our friends can also be a great achievement.