Would you like to learn how to apply for scholarships? You’ve come to the right place. This article features how you can apply for scholarships and tips on your application process. Read on!
A scholarship is a form of financial support awarded to students to further their education. Scholarships are awarded based upon various requirements, such as academic merit, athletic skill, diversity and inclusion, and financial need. Scholarship requirements usually reflect the values and goals of the founder or donor of the award.
While beneficiaries of scholarships are not required to repay scholarships, the awards may require that the beneficiary continue to meet certain criteria during their period of support, such as maintaining a minimum GPA or engaging in a certain activity (e.g., playing on a school sports team for athletic scholarship holders).
Scholarships may provide a financial award, an in-kind award (e.g., waiving of tuition-fees or fees for housing in a dorm), or a combination.
Some reputable, highly competitive scholarships are well known even outside the educational community, such as the Rhodes Scholarship and Fulbright Scholarship.
Types Of Scholarships That Exist
The most common scholarships types of scholarships are as follows:
1. Merit-based: Merit-based awards are based on a student’s athletic ability, academic ability, artistic ability, etc. This type of scholarship is usually a factor in an applicant’s extra-curricular activities and community service record.
The most common merit-based scholarships, awarded directly by a student’s intended college or a private organization, acknowledge academic achievement or high scores on standardized tests.
2. Need-based: Some private need based awards are confused as “scholarships”, and require the results of a FAFSA (the family’s EFC). However, scholarships are usually merit based, while grants tend to be need based.
3. Student-specific: These are scholarships for which applicants must initially pass the eligibility requirements based upon race, gender, family, religion, and medical history, or many other student-specific factors.
Minority scholarships are the most common awards given to students in this category. For example, students in Canada may be eligible for a number of Indigenous scholarships, whether they study abroad or home.
The Gates Millennium Scholarship program is another minority scholarship funded by Bill and Melinda Gates for outstanding African American, Asian Pacific Islander American, American Indian and Latino students who enroll in college.
4. Career-specific: These are scholarships a university or college awards to students who plan to pursue a particular field of study. Usually, the most generous awards to students who pursue careers in high need areas such as nursing or education.
Many schools in the U.S. give prospective nurses full scholarships to enter the field, especially if the student intends to work in a high need community.
5. College-specific: College-specific scholarships are offered by individual universities and colleges to highly-qualified applicants. These scholarships are given on the basis of personal and academic achievement. However, some scholarships have a “bond” criteria.
Beneficiaries may be required to work for a particular employer for a particular period of time or to work in remote or rural areas; otherwise, they may be required to repay the value of the financial aid they received from the scholarship.
6. Athletic: This Scholarship is awarded to students with outstanding skill in a sport.
Normally, this is so that the student will be available to attend the college or school and play the sport on their team, although government funded sports scholarships are available in some part of the world, allowing recipient’s to train for international representation.
7. Brand: These scholarships are normally sponsored by a corporation that is seeking attention to their brand, or a cause. These scholarships are sometimes referred to as branded scholarships. For example: The Miss America beauty pageant scholarship.
8. Creative contest: These scholarships are awarded to students on the basis of creative submission. Contest scholarships are also referred to as mini project based scholarships where students can submit entries based on innovative and unique ideas.
9. “Last dollar”: This scholarship can be provided by government and private-based institutions, and are intended to cover the balance of fees charged to a student after the various grants are taken into account.
To prohibit universities and colleges from taking last dollar scholarships into account, and thereby discarding other sources of funding, these scholarships are not offered until after financial support has been given in the form of a letter.
Here’s How To Apply For Scholarships Successfully
When paying for university or college, always explore scholarship opportunities before considering private or federal student loans. University and College scholarships are awarded in form of a gift and requires no repayment.
There’s no limit to the number of scholarships you can apply for, so it is advisable to apply for as many as you can.
The Best Time To Apply For Scholarships
Apply for scholarships often and early. Some scholarship deadlines are as early as a year before you start university or college. You don’t need to wait until you’ve made your final decision about the school you’re applying for.
However, you need not worry if you missed out on some of the earliest scholarship applications. There are a lot of scholarship opportunities out there for you, all with different deadlines.
Apply for scholarships every year you’re in university or college. Also, there are many scholarships for college and university freshers.
As you get ready to apply for university or college scholarships, keep in mind that different scholarships require certain documents and have different eligibility criteria. These tips can assist you in choosing the scholarship to apply for:
- Be thorough.
Don’t underestimate smaller scholarships. Even a few hundred dollars can help offset the cost of supplies, textbooks and local transportation.
- Be careful.
On no account should you pay for scholarships or for scholarship searches. School financial aid offices and school counselors can recommend reputable options, checkout some scholarships for undergraduate students in our site.
- Be honest.
Don’t exaggerate your memberships, grades, qualifications or skills. You’re more likely to receive scholarships if you apply for the ones that match your skills and interest.
- Be proactive.
Apply for scholarships every year you’re in the university or college. Approximately 50% of available scholarships are for students already enrolled in higher education.
- Be diligent.
Enable to pay attention to little details. Some scholarships require letters of recommendation while others may want you to write an essay. Ensure you send in the right documents and proofread everything. Missing materials or Typos can be the difference between loosing or winning a scholarship.
- Be on time.
Some scholarships are very easy and quick to apply for. Others may take a little more time. In a case where the scholarship application cannot be submitted electronically, ensure you use a certified mail. Missing a scholarship deadline could easily disqualify you.
Final Words On How To Apply For Scholarships
When you start searching early for the type of scholarship you want to apply for, you stand the chance to save thousands of dollars that you could miss out if you’re late.
For instance, if your application arrives late at the office of the financial aid, or when you miss out on potential money saving programs just because you couldn’t meet up with time.
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