College scholarships give you access to money for college that you do not have to pay back. There are many types of college scholarships Academic Scholarships, Need-Based (Financial) Scholarships, Sports Scholarships, clubs or member-based scholarships, and more.
Getting college scholarships are hard to get but not impossible. The amount of work you have to do to apply puts many people off. This is not an uncommon opinion but because it the number of people applying is less so it may be a benefit to those who work hard and apply to as many as possible.
I have listed 10 tips to help you make the most of your pursuit of college scholarships:
- Start ASAP and Apply Early - Many scholarships have early application deadlines, so don't miss out on these opportunities.
- Search Locally - A local scholarship is probably your best chance for getting a college scholarship. There are special scholarships just for locals, meaning it will be less competitive, as there are usually less applicants. Local banks, grocery stores, clubs, businesses, organizations, and churches are all potential sources for community scholarships. Also check State-funded scholarships. States have lots of money to disperse when it comes to providing education.
- Read the Requirements - Make sure you are eligible right from the start, so you’re not wasting your time. Also, never pay to apply for a scholarship, these are usually scams.
- Follow Instructions Carefully - Any errors right off the bat can get your scholarship application easily denied. Proofread it. Have someone else proofread it.
- Neatly Presentable, Neatly Packaged - Send the scholarship application via certified mail or better yet, FedEx, making your application look professional and stand out from others.
- Communicate - Make sure the application is right. If you are not sure about something in the scholarship application, don't hesitate to ask.
- Check School Specific Scholarships - Check with the college you would like to attend. Usually there are many school-specific scholarships available. This alone may be able to help you in your school decision making.
- Visit a financial counselor at your School - A financial counselor may be able to lead you to scholarships you don't know about, or that aren't listed on the web. Find scholarships that aren't very competitive by applying for ones that are not heavily advertised.
- Be Active, Stay Active - Being in a sports team, club or some type of community service will always better your chances at receiving a college scholarship.
- Maintain your GPA - Keep your grades up. A higher GPA will make you eligible for more scholarships, on top of increasing your chances of receiving funds.