Paying for College

Help In Finding College Scholarships

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Paying for college can be a challenge. There are government loans, personal loans, grants and scholarships. You want to focus on scholarship and grant monies that do not have to be paid back. You can find college scholarships with some time and effort. There is no need to pay a person or service for this task. Let’s take a look at the most easily accessible scholarship potentials for students. First things first.. get your FAFSA application done. Helpful information here on the FAFSA application process.

Where To Look For College Scholarships

paying for college

First and foremost, look in your own backyard. Most local community organizations offer scholarships that can assist you with paying for college. Information on these can be found in local newspapers, in your high school guidance office, through local church affiliations and your own extracurricular activities. So keep your eyes and ears open and begin at your school. Make an appointment with your guidance counselor and ask specifically for any information they may have on locally available scholarship applications.

Another way of paying for college is to find scholarships available through the national affiliations of a local organization in which you are a member. An example would be the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. Many of these organizations will have scholarship opportunities offered through their national offices. So scour their national websites for scholarships. Also ask your parents to check with the Human Resources department of their employers to see if there are any available scholarships for the children of the employees. If you have a special talent, search the net and you are sure to find scholarship opportunities. For example, if you are a talented musician, you may find scholarships that are specifically designed for students who play a certain instrument. So think about your talents and search accordingly.

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Contact the colleges to whom you have submitted applications. Many have special scholarship programs that are focused towards different areas of student life. There may be scholarships for those involved in theater, science or math, student leadership, community service or university ministry just to name a few. Once you are accepted to an institution, you may receive this information based on information on your application. In many cases though you need to contact financial aid and ask for a list of scholarships available. This scholarship search process should continue each year you are enrolled. All of our children continued to apply and earn scholarships while in college by applying to scholarships that were specifically tailored to their course of study. These are a vastly overlooked wealth of continuing scholarship dollars.

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Tips For Completing A College Scholarship Application

Review all scholarship applications with special attention to the qualification requirements. Do not waste your time applying for scholarships whose requirements do not match your own resume. For example, certain ethnically based organizations only award their scholarships to those students who are of like heritage. So, if you are not of Italian descent, do not apply for a UNICO scholarship. Sounds like common sense but having sat in on scholarship review committees, it is surprising how many applicants pay no attention to the qualifications and thus their application is immediately eliminated. If you want help paying for college, use your time wisely to apply for scholarships where you are a qualified candidate.
how to find college scholarships

Most applications will require an essay. Read the essay questions carefully and answer the question succinctly. Reread your answer and make sure your really answered the question asked and did not go off on a tangent. Do not re-use one of your college application essays unless it answers the question. If you DO NOT answer the question that is being asked, your application may be discarded, even if the essay you submitted was great. Having writers block? Ask a teacher, counselor or your parent for ideas and help in constructing your answer, and then start to write and always be cognizant to sell your strengths and assets. This is your audience with the review committee so make a strong and cohesive presentation. The competition for scholarship money is stiff so by carefully following the application instructions you can stand out as a great applicant.

Here is some common sense advice about your college scholarship applications. Proofread your entire application; proofread it again and then ask someone else to proofread it. Applications with misspellings, poor grammar, improper capitalization, missing information etc. may be tossed upon preliminary review. If you want their help paying for college, then your application must be the very best reflection of yourself. If school transcripts and letters of recommendations are required, give those people enough advance notice to get their information to the scholarship committee in advance of the deadline. Also make sure your a copy of FAFSA application is available if needed. The best applicant will not be considered if their application arrives with incomplete information.

A final note: Finding money for college and applying for college scholarships is a lot of work and takes a lot of time. However, the end result of being awarded free monies to fund your college education is worth every hour of your efforts.

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