Where do I Start with College Scholarship Applications?
There are many things to consider when seeking a scholarship to aid in college expenses. If the task seems too great, here are answers to a few questions to get you started.
- When do I start? The best time to apply for scholarships is between your student’s junior and senior year. Begin your search and applications that summer if you can. Any earlier and you may not have enough GPA history. If you’ve already passed this window, don’t give up! There are many scholarships with other deadlines that might still apply to you.
- Where should I apply? Don’t limit your scholarship applications to only private organizations. The federal government, individual schools, and many states offer scholarships as well. If your student has school preference(s), call that college’s financial aid department to find out about available scholarships. They can assist you in grants or other financial aid applications for that school.
- How many scholarships should I apply for? Apply for as many as you can within the deadline requirements. Some awards may not have the same high dollar appeal as others; however, those smaller scholarship amounts add up and are often less competitive or go unnoticed. For example, the Federal Employee Education and Assistance fund (FEEA) offers more than 450 scholarships each year ranging from $250 to $7,500.
- Where can I find scholarships to apply for? Here are a few scholarship search engines to use to find additional scholarship opportunities: com, Niche.com, and Scholarships.com.
- What about the application? Don’t forget to carefully read over your application paying attention to instructions, questions and the deadline before filling it out. After completing it, proof the application checking for errors. Make sure you have understood and answered the questions as written. If an essay was required, proof that carefully, too! Asking a school counselor or another set of eyes to read it over is often a good idea. Don’t get your application thrown out on a technicality or careless typos and grammar mistakes. Also, send it in to be received well within the deadline.
Want to know some of the most important advice? Simply get the process started! Don’t wait, don’t hesitate. Start looking now for scholarship opportunities for you. Good luck with chipping away at the bursar bill!