Steps in Applying for Scholarship

It is always a good idea to be fully responsible with your finances when you are going to college. It helps you become a better person and allows you to become independent. Considering the current economic situation, it is important to consider all options and directly manage your money.

The process of applying for a scholarship is essentially similar to college application.

  1. Narrow down all potential choices into a list of grants that matches your needs and requirements
  2. Create appealing application supported by achievements and recommendations

Here are some steps to create a compelling scholarship application –

  • Research early
  • Read whether you are eligible for the scholarship grant
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  • Be well-organized with all your scholarship materials and have them ready prior to the application date
  • Check your application and have it proofread
  • Do not leave any items on the application blank
  • Always follow instructions strictly
  • Ensure your application is written legibly and clearly
  • Keep a copy of the things you send out
  • Submit your application early

It is considered a good idea to get in touch with the financial aid office of the universities or colleges that you want to attend to and inquire about their policies on scholarship grants outside their institutions.

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How to find scholarships

There are various types of scholarships offered today and searching for the right one could be overwhelming for both students and parents. Before beginning the process of applying for any scholarship, it is important that you learn about the different types available and where to look for them.

Athletic scholarships are often awarded to high school athletes based on skill and performance. Unless you’re already a talented athlete, you should keep looking. Academic scholarships are based on your academic merit and financial scholarships are for those in financial need of assistance. Academic scholarships are hard to get because you’re being judged based on GPA, test scores, extracurricular activities and awards. Athletic and academic scholarships are very competitive and you need to start early to market your abilities to get noticed.

Places to look for private scholarships:

  • Corporations
  • Unions
  • Foundations
  • High schools
  • Religious organizations
  • Chamber of commerce
  • Philanthropic organizations
  • Websites like CollegeScholarships.org

Your school can help you get scholarships, but unless you’re in the top of your class, you need to look for your own to get the best ones. Look into private scholarships, which are offered by foundations, organizations or companies that are working for the betterment of students.

Applying for private scholarships takes time and effort, but can be very beneficial. Apply for as many as you qualify for and even if you only get small ones, it will all add up to a bigger reward.

Win a $2,000 blogging scholarship

SPENDonLIFE.com is sponsoring a $2,000 blogging scholarship for student bloggers. The importance of credit and protecting yourself from identity theft is something that should be important to all students, but is often forgotten in the midst of studying, partying and working.

To enter the blogging scholarship, you simply have to have a blog (an ongoing one or you can create one) and write a post about credit or identity theft. The requirements are very simple and straightforward. As long as you stick to the topic, you can write anything you want. How it has personally affected you, how to protect yourself, or even how you find it scary that nearly every company you do business with has a database full of information on you. You have to be 18 years old and a full or part-time student at an accredited university. The deadline is December 1st and the winner gets paid on January 1, 2009.

For more information about this $2,000 blogging scholarship sponsored by SPENDonLIFE.com, you can visit their website. SPENDonLIFE is a member of the National Scholarship Providers Association so you know this is a legitimate scholarship. SPENDonLIFE also offers ten scholarships per year for students who have been denied loans because of bad credit.

Find the best scholarships for you

One of the greatest things about college is the free money people will throw at you. Yes, that’s right, scholarships and grants. Unfortunately, your income has to be pretty low to qualify for most grants, I’m talking low enough that it’s hard to even live on. So, scholarships are your best friend.

The essay
Most scholarship applications include an essay. And it may not seem like a big deal, unless you’re applying for multiple scholarships, in which case it’s an extremely big deal because that means multiple essays. Not true. Usually, the scholarship essays are pretty generic and you can use the same essay over an over again. A good idea is to write one about your life and any obstacles you’ve overcome that made you a better person. Those are killer. But a better one is something that will tell the reader about you and what you really care about (your dog, Thumper or how you live to play baseball.) Did you really volunteer with the elderly because you live to help people or to put it on your college application? If you’re a funny person, let them know that. If you are a bleeding heart, bleed all over that paper. An essay is about selling yourself and if you really have to embellish, then go ahead. You have bigger problems anyway.

Where to find them
Your school advisers have the best collection of local scholarships, which give you a better chance. Also, most colleges have their own scholarships, which I think are just discounts since they’re the ones giving it to you. Either way, it’s money you don’t have to pay back. Most undergraduates with decent grades and a half decent essay can get something out of their school if they apply. After you’ve tapped those resources, online is the next step. Here’s three websites that were crucial for me.

Be careful though, when giving out personal information. Make sure it’s a legitimate scholarship before you give too much info. Stay away if they want some of your money.