College is expensive, that's for sure! When it comes to finding money to pay for college, my advice is "roll up your sleeves, and go to work." There are numerous opportunities available if you're willing to look for them and spend some time filling out applications. Many scholarships are directed at seniors, and the senior year is very busy. But, be sure to make scholarship applications a priority.
Here are a few tips that I have found helpful over the years:
Follow directions! I have seen several scholarship applications tossed directly into the trash simply because the student didn't read and follow directions. (If it says to write in ink, don't use a pencil!)
Have someone proofread for you, especially if you have to include an essay. You don't want to turn something in that has careless mistakes or grammatical errors.
Don't ever start your essay "My name is..." Make your essay unique and memorable. If the guidelines allow, tell a story from your life that is a good example of your character or what you have overcome in your life.
Remember that deadline means deadline. There are no "late grades" for scholarship applications.
Research just a little. Find out about the background, history, and goals of the organization that is awarding the scholarship. You can sprinkle in a few tidbits or facts that may prick their ears as they read your essay/application.
When filling out the application, don't leave ANY spaces blank. If something is not applicable to you, simply write "not applicable" in that spot.
Detail your academic achievements. List academic awards or honors. If your GPA is good, flaunt it! :-)
Show that you are well-rounded. Sometimes it's not just about your grades. Many organizations care just as much about how involved you are in your school and community.
Although you can save scholarship essays and use one "generic" one as a starting point, tailor the essay to the specific organization/scholarship. If your essay is canned, the scholarship committee will be able to tell easily.
I will email all scholarships that come across my desk and try to keep this webpage up-to-date as well, but there are many other opportunities available if you are willing to search. Also, don't forget to apply for scholarships through the college/university you are planning to attend.
Here are some links to websites with scholarship opportunities:
Here is a fabulous everything financial aid/scholarship website - please take some time to check it out! Financial Aid/Scholarship Information
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