How to Apply for Scholarships
Even if money grew on trees, you’d have to grab your basket and get to work. The same goes for scholarships. They don’t come to you. You have to go out and get them.
The good thing is there are a lot of scholarships – many more than there are money trees. Some scholarships are available to kids as young as six.
Applying for a scholarship is a lot like applying for college. There are a lot of options to sift through before creating a list of worthwhile scholarships to spend time on.
The first step is finding the right scholarship for you. The second step is applying to them. Here are a few tips for finding and applying to scholarships:
Start Early. The more time students put into looking for scholarships, the more choices they’ll have. Students also need time to request necessary information and put the materials together. Scholarships requirements may include:
Financial aid forms like FAFSA
Letters of recommendation
Standardized test scores
Proof of eligibility, such as U.S. Citizenship, birth certificate, or tribal
Stay Organized. Make separate folders for each scholarship and keep track of what is needed and when things are due. Track the Scholarships on a Calendar. Make triple sure deadlines aren’t missed.
Follow the Instructions. Carefully. Count the words on the essay and provide the right materials. If a student has any questions about what the scholarship requirements are, or how to fill out a part of the application, he should call or email the scholarship sponsors. Many applications are eliminated because the directions were not followed to the letter.
Stay on topic in the essay(s). If the essay asks for the philosophic themes of an Ayn Rand novel, don’t be clever by comparing her to Batman. Give them what they asked for. Don’t give more. Don’t give less.
Check and Recheck and Recheck the Application. Everything must be easily readable, all the words must be spelled right and all the questions answered.
Make sure it’s signed and dated by the right people, whomever the application requests whether it’s a teacher or employer.
Send the Application in On-Time. Make sure you do this!
***Scholarships DO Affect Financial Aid Packages***
Students should contact the financial aid office of any colleges they are considering to find out the details. Each school has its own policy on which types of aid may be reduced or eliminated by the scholarship money. Different types of aid that may be affected by scholarship monies are loans, work-study and need-based grants.
SOME SCHOLARSHIP SITES
International College Counselors provides expert college counseling on undergraduate and graduate college admissions, financial aid, tuition, essays, and college applications to domestic and international students.
The college counseling and college coaching services are tailored to address the goals, needs, and dreams of each student. Mandee Heller Adler, founder of International College Counselors, is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and also received an MBA from Harvard Business School. International College Counselors’ achievements include being recognized as one of South Florida’s Top 100 Small Businesses in 2012.
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