Finding the best scholarship opportunities for you can seem like a difficult and daunting process, but it really isn’t as scary as it seems. If you are planning on, or just now applying to college, or are looking for a little extra money to help with academic costs, these four tips for finding the best scholarship opportunities are for you.
It’s Not All About GPA
If you aren’t an honors student with a 4.5 GPA, don’t worry! Scholarships are awarded based on lots of different criteria, not just grade point average alone. Scholarships are awarded for community service, athletics, work experience, and even just a great essay stating your personal aspirations. Identify your strong suit, and then begin your scholarship search. You can never make the shots you don’t take!
Beginning The Search
Searching for scholarships without any help can seem overwhelming, and extremely discouraging. Luckily, there are various free sources of information about scholarships, and how to apply for them. Begin your search by talking to the financial aid office at your college, career school, or a high school counselor. The U.S. Department of Labor has a very useful free scholarship search tool that a lot of students don’t know about. There are even entire organizations dedicated to helping students find a scholarship for their particular strength. The IDS Honor Society is one of many of these great organizations.
Other Great Scholarship Sources
While beginning by talking to a high school counselor, or prospective college financial aid office is a good start, there are many organizations that offer scholarships you may not have thought of. If you a member or affiliated with any local business, civic group, or religious organization, they may have scholarships available for you. Cover all your bases, and ask around if any organizations have scholarship opportunities. The International Distinguished Scholars website http://idshonorsociety.org, is one great place to find academic and niche scholarships- And the application is free!
It’s All About Timing
Every scholarship has a deadline at which the application must be turned in. Identifying these deadlines, and setting goals of completion for yourself will save you a lot of stress. If you are still in high school, the best time to search and apply for scholarships is during the summer between your junior and senior year. If you think its too late, don’t worry! There are still tons of scholarships available, usually year round, that you can apply for.
As you can see, finding the best scholarship opportunity for you, with a few helpful tips, isn’t that difficult. Hopefully this article has reduced your stress by providing some great scholarship sources, and making the search a little bit easier. Of course, you will still have to put in the work and dedication that your particular scholarship requires, but with these four tips finding the best scholarship opportunity should be a lot easier. Good luck with your scholarship search, and don’t give up!