Over a million students a year receive some level of scholarship. For most people, winning a scholarship is the only way they can afford college, and applying for one should definitely be considered by pretty much everyone.
Parents are a key part of creating the illusion for their kids. It’s always made out like gaining a scholarship is easy. But while our parents are our biggest cheerleaders, they may be a little bias when it comes to our abilities and eligibility.
According to Saving for College, just 1 in 8 students receive a scholarship, with the average payout being $4,200. So, while applying for financial aid is recommended, it shouldn’t be your only plan for funding your degree.
That said, any amount of free money is helpful. So here are our tips to give you the best chance of scoring a scholarship. Don’t forget, if you’re struggling to make ends meet and want to find an alternative way to qualify, there are plenty of options to study online to make your degree more accessible and affordable.
It’s more than just academics
With thousands of valedictorians a year, being the best in your school isn’t enough to secure a scholarship. Neither is great grades or a perfect SAT score. Though these things help, scholarship providers now look for something deeper. Very few even look at GPA scores, as they are searching for someone who stands out from the crowd. Each provider will have their own requirements, but they are all looking for excellence within the areas that matter to them. Long-term involvement is also a key factor.
Apply as early as possible
A lot of scholarships will have fall deadlines, so it’s important to get applying as soon as you can. For parents interested in supporting their kids, there are actually scholarship programs available to students in elementary school if you really want to get ahead of the curb.
Although full-term scholarships are limited, there are plenty of options you might not even know about. To find out more about what you’re eligible for, visit www.collegedata.com What’s more, you can even apply for scholarships after you enroll.
Be aware of scams
Scholarship matching is a lucrative business, with plenty of opportunities to get scammed. If you’re required to pay an application or holding fee, it’s probably worth looking elsewhere.
It’s also worth mentioning that scholarship matching services do the hard work for you but don’t actually have a better database than free sites. So it’s not really worth paying extra for.
Apply to as many as you can
You can better your chances of being accepted for a scholarship by applying for all those you are eligible for. There’s nothing stopping you from applying for them all! Though don’t waste your time when you don’t meet the requirements.
Your chances of scoring a scholarship are only as good as you make them. By being prepared and doing your research, you could easily secure yourself some extra cash to help pay for either the course itself or the equipment you need.