APPLY FOR EVERYTHING – If you meet the basic eligibility requirements, go for it…Even if it’s for a small amount, say $500, and you spend three hours completing the application, you were just paid $166/hr for your efforts. Would you rather have a one in a thousand odds or one in a hundred? The fact that there are fewer students applying for these financial opportunities puts you in the unique position to try for scholarship that might not entirely match your interests or experience.
START EARLY – Make sure you stay super organized when it comes to due dates. Have a calendar just for this. Write down all the due dates and make sure you stay on track. You don’t want to miss out on a scholarship because you missed the date. Don’t wait until right before you start college to think about applying for scholarships. Look ahead and start applying early. You wouldn’t want to run out of time or not be able to apply for any scholarships for your first year of college because you waited too long to start. Don’t wait until the day before the scholarship application due date to get started. There could be parts of the application you need time to get together. You might need to write a long essay or get a letter of recommendation. This is why staying organized is a most important. You don’t want to miss dates or forget about when things need to be turned in. Waiting for the last minute also doesn’t give you any room if you make a mistake and need to redo an application.
WATCH FOR SCAMS – Just because these scholarships are quirky doesn’t mean some of them might be too good to be true, and it’s important to keep your eye out for red flags. If they request any money to start the application it's probably fraudulent. Beware of telephone numbers with a 900 area code. A dishonest operation might put pressure on you by saying that awards are on a first-come, first served basis. Fraudulent operations may also claim endorsements by groups with names similar to well-known private or government organizations. For instance, the Better Business Bureau and government agencies do not endorse businesses.
STAY IN CONTACT WITH YOUR SCHOOL – It’s important to stay in touch with your school’s financial aid office, outside scholarships can affect this funding. Your school cannot refuse outside resources, however, they have to account any scholarships you receive as part of your total financial aid package. So, if a you bring in several outside scholarships, and their aid exceeds their cost of attendance, you might see a reduction in non-need-based aid.
I hope this was Helpful Taylor
John recommends the following next steps:
- Big Future • https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/scholarship-search# • Roughly $6 billion is available in awards through this website. The Big Future website (created by College Board) not only has an excellent scholarship search engine, but it also links you with other kinds of awards. For example, your search might also include potential internships, loans, federal financial aid, or research grants. You can also note that you’d like to be considered for scholarships based on academic achievement, financial need, or both.
- Scholarships.com • https://www.scholarships.com/main.aspx • Requires you to fill out a profile. They will also provide information about other types of aid (e.g., grants, loans, etc.). This site is kind of nice because it allows you to sort which scholarships you’re interested in applying for. Because you have a username, you can log in and out to complete applications at your own pace.
- Fastweb • https://www.fastweb.com • Is unique in that it takes your strengths, skills, and interests into account as part of your profile. Not just your grades and test scores, but what you hope to someday accomplish. Fastweb also provides resources on scholarship scams. While we’re all scrambling to find money to cover the rising cost of tuition, remember to be cautious. If something seems too good to be true, it just might be.
- SallieMae • https://www.salliemae.com/college-planning/college-scholarships • The Sallie Mae scholarship search is home to over 5 million college scholarships and worth up to $24 billion! They also have a $1,000 monthly drawing. Nothing beats effortless, free money. Again, you start by registering and filling out a profile. Then, when new scholarships are added that match your needs, you get an email.
- Unigo • https://www.unigo.com • Unigo even offers their own annual $10,000 scholarship. In 2018, the prompt for this scholarship was: “Imagine a historical figure is brought back to life. Who is it? What’s their favorite mobile app?” Other features from Unigo include a college match tool, over 650,000 college reviews (write your own!), and a directory for all kinds of scholarships, including those for minorities, athletes, area of study, and state of residence.