Tips on Applying for Scholarships

January 15, 2012 Category: College Scholarships and Grants

Paying for college is no joke.  It can be very expensive, so applying and receiving scholarship money can be a tremendous help with your educational expenses.  Researching and actually filling out applications is the hardest part, but considering the benefits, it is an extremely small price to pay.  The following are tips to help you apply and obtaining college scholarships.

Look at smaller, local scholarships:  Take time and inventory your hobbies and the organizations that you or your family are involved in and find out if they offer any kind of scholarships.  Also, check in with local business, many may have scholarships available and local applicants are usually given preference.

Local and “small” scholarships often have a smaller amount of people applying for them, which in turn means your chances in obtaining them increase.  These “smaller” scholarship organizations are also more available for questions and to help you through the process.

Do your research:  There are many scholarship opportunities out there, it is a matter of doing your research to find them. There are many internet sites that have a lot of information for you detailing the qualifications and deadlines.  Here’s a starter site for you:  There are also scholarship directories you can browse through.

Your local library is another good resource.  They usually have scholarship directories available for your use.  There are also guide books that you can check out to see what else you could be doing.

Make a list of all the scholarships you potentially qualify for and locate the specific information needed to apply.  Remember, it is a smart idea to apply to as many scholarships as you can.  There are a tremendous amount of students applying for a limited number of scholarship dollars so apply to all that you qualify for.  It will increase your chances at getting them.

When you are at the point of filling out your applications, make sure you understand the guidelines that each one dictates.  There will be many that you just do not qualify for, so ask plenty of questions if you are unsure because you do not want to waste your time if you know you will not qualify.

Make yourself standout on the application:  You need to sell yourself to that scholarship committee.  To help you do this, you can find plenty of books and websites that are dedicated to this.  These resources will give you detailed information and it is up to you to use it and write a pretty spectacular essay.  Most scholarships require an essay or a personal statement.  This is the key, the place where you should spend most of your energy.  This is where you want to impress the scholarship committee showing them that you deserve the scholarship and how you will use the money and contribute to society.  Write about any personal and academic achievements that you have achieved and maybe use a personal story demonstrating how you have overcome an obstacle or succeeded at something you put your mind into.  Your passion and ability to succeed should clearly be seen using this essay.  Take your time with this part and create a compelling essay.

Submit your application early:  Always plan ahead when applying to scholarships.  Make sure you give everything plenty of time especially if you are going to need letters of recommendation.  Get your personal statement/essay done early too so you have time to get it checked and make corrections.

Thank yous:  It is only right to send thank you cards to anyone who wrote you a letter of recommendation or helped you with the application or essay.  Show your gratitude for their help whether you receive the scholarship or not, they took the time to help you.  Besides being the right thing to do, if you ever need their assistance again they are more likely to give it with a small thank you.

Hope this was of some help to you.  Apply, apply, apply.  Wishing you the best of luck.

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