With the price tag of a college degree rising every year and the national student loan debt continuing to build, scholarships and grants can be life-changing for incoming freshmen and returning scholars as well. Scholarships are granted by different groups, including the federal government. Here are some important tips to help you successfully win a college scholarship.
Begin scholarship applications well in advance so you’ll be leading the pack. There are many varieties of scholarships available — such as ones for scholastic achievement, athletics, minority groups, first-generation students, and more. To find additional grants, reach out to your guidance counselor, financial aid administrator, coach, or parents’ companies. Online search engines will assist you in finding potential scholarships— including several you may not have acknowledged or didn’t know existed. Nearly all online search engines present the capability to filter searches to match your specific qualifications with available aid.
Once you have a substantial list of scholarships that you are eligible for, it’s time to evaluate those opportunities and prioritize specific ones. Start by concentrating on the awards with the soonest deadlines and those you believe you have the greatest shot at winning. Always read the application information thoroughly — even the fine print. Some scholarships that require a fee are usually scams. For further ideas on how to plan, coordinate, seek and apply for college scholarships, see the accompanying infographic.