Want to land a scholarship to help pay your way through school? Then you need to review the methods highlighted below. And if you’re specifically interested in accounting or finance scholarships, please click this link.
Give Them What They Want
When you apply for a scholarship, it’s sponsored by a person or an entity. The scholarship application always has the sponsor’s criteria for the scholarship. But you can find more information about the sponsor to give them what they’re looking for. After all, you want to be one of the top candidates for it, so do your research!
Check online for the entity’s mission statement and other information. You can often find this critical information on the organization’s About Us page.
A frequent mistake for those applying for scholarships is they focus on the quantity of applications, not quality. If you don’t provide the sponsor what they want in the application, you’ll never get it.
Volunteer In Your Community
You can have straight As and a high SAT score, but often, a student with loads of volunteer work in addition to grades and test scores gets the best scholarships.
A woman who was on the cover of Parade Magazine in 1991 scored an impressive $400,000 in scholarships! How’d she do that? In part, scholarship sponsors want to see students with a serious commitment to serving the community.
The bias towards volunteer work is logical because many scholarship sponsors are non-profit organizations.
Have a Professional Online Presence
You can have all the right things on your application, but the sponsor may look to someone else if your online presence is sketchy if your online presence is sketchy.
Do a Google search for your name to ensure you have an online presence that looks professional. If you have inappropriate content on social media channels, delete it immediately. Also, avoid having an odd-sounding email account. Just keep it professional when scholarship hunting.
Create a Profile Of Yourself
When you apply for scholarships, you often have to write an essay. So, you can make this easier from the start by writing a profile of yourself.
This profile might include what your major will be, background, family, and other details unique to you. You can use this guide as a template when you start writing your application essays.
Try a Scholarship Search Engine
Many helpful scholarship search engines will make your search more straightforward, such as Fastweb, Scholarships.com, and College Board.
When you use one of these search engines, you can expect to get a lot of junk email. That’s why you should set up an email account just for scholarship offers.
Remember To Fill Out FAFSA
It’s important to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Even if you are sure you won’t qualify for a federal loan, many scholarship applications still require you to submit your FAFSA.
The good news is that some scholarships only require you to complete the FAFSA. But if you rely only on doing the FAFSA, you’ll miss tons of chances for free money.
Submit Scholarship Applications After You Start College
Many students fill out scholarship applications before going to college. Once they’re in, they stop looking for them. You still want free money, don’t you?
You can still apply for new scholarships during your entire college career. In fact, some experts say you can find even MORE scholarships when you’re in college because you can access your university’s financial aid office. Or, you can work through your academic department to find them.
Also, you’ll have more contacts once you’re going through school, as well as a track record in college. You could make yourself an even more attractive candidate for scholarships.
Answer The Optional Application Questions
When you give your background information on search engines to find scholarships, always answer the optional questions. Experts say you can get almost double the scholarship matches. The more of them you know about in your area of interest, the better.
When you compose your scholarship essay, make it stand out in a good way. Let your voice hit the page. Provide oodles of details from your life and make it as unique as you can!
Search For Essay Contests
Some students can be lazy and will skip scholarship applications that require an essay. When you respond to this type of application, you’re immediately competing against fewer people. So, choose as many that have an essay requirement to boost your odds.
Many scholarship application deadlines are in March. But many experts advise applying as early as you can to boost the chances that you score scholarships. The longer you wait, the less money is available.
It’s recommended to start applying for opportunities in the fall of your senior year. And remember, continue to apply after you enter college, but well before the application deadline.
Remember The Different Scholarship Types Available
As you apply, it’s vital to expand your options by considering the many types of opportunities available:
● Academic Achievement
Many college scholarships depend on GPA, grades, test scores, and other academic-related factors. For example, your PSAT score affects your eligibility for the National Merit Scholar Program.
● First Generation
There are specific scholarships for people who are the first in their family to go to a university. For instance, there’s a national ones available from a California nonprofit that is only for a first-generation student with a lower income.
Some experts say that the most scholarships are available in this category, especially if your parents are near the poverty line.
● Underrepresented Groups
Some opportunities are based on your background. For instance, Bill Gates offers financial aid for minorities in a bachelor’s program. This includes people who are American Indian, African American, Hispanic American, or Asian, among others.
Hopefully, it’s now clear how you can increase your chances of getting college scholarships. You don’t have to have the best grades, GPA, and test scores. What you need most is a hard-working attitude, persistence, and attention to detail. With those attributes, you’ll find scholarships for your college future!