Scholarships are significant for helping with the cost of education. A scholarship can mean less debt further down the road. Most students are eligible for some kind of scholarship, many are eligible for multiple scholarships. However, applying for scholarships can be challenging. Here are four things you should avoid when seeking a scholarship.
Many third party services will offer to fill out applications for you and distribute your information to a variety of scholarship foundations. This is likely a scam. Don’t give money to this type of service. Boards that hand out scholarships easily sniff out a generic application. You want each application to be unique and specific to the scholarship you are applying for. You can trust third party services for lists and contacts, but not for guaranteed money or for doing the work for you.
Scholarships are competitive and there is no room for error. Don’t expect a grace period if you miss a deadline. Keep track of all of your deadlines and don’t miss out on possible money just because you forgot to hit the send button, or let a date slip by unnoticed.
Many colleges have you fill out a financial information packet for financial aid, as well as scholarships and grants. They have access to a wide variety of money specific to your institution and sometimes even your area of study. Don’t avoid these financial packets because you think you don’t qualify for aid. You may miss out on free money. If you haven’t heard anything from your school, consider contacting them to ask about scholarship opportunities.
Just because you don’t have a stellar GPA or outstanding SAT or ACT score doesn’t mean there isn’t a scholarship out there for you. Did you volunteer with a specific organization? Do you play a sport? Were you the leader of a club? There are all kinds of organizations that offer money that isn’t dependent on traditional academic performance standards. Talk to your school counselor to see what types of scholarships you might qualify for and where to access them.
Stick With It
Many students are burned out on applications by the time they are accepted at a college or university. However, sticking with it and filling out a few more scholarship applications can save you a lot of work and trouble in the future. Take the time now to invest in your education by applying for as many scholarships as you can.