How to Get Scholarships: The Guide to Get You Free Money for School
Scholarships for College
Why pay for college if you don’t have to?
Everyone can benefit from receiving scholarships. They just need to know how to get them.
In today’s article, I’m going to show you exactly how to get scholarships in high school and how to get scholarships for universities.
There are thousands of people and companies who understand the high cost of education and want to make it more affordable to students, BUT it’s astonishing how often scholarship money goes untouched because qualified candidates have simply not applied!
I’ll never forget when I was in school and a lady told me the #1 reason people do not get scholarships is because they are L-A-Z-Y.
This resonated with me. I was not going to pay for college if I didn’t have to. I applied for any and EVERY scholarship that I qualified for and received over $40,000 in total scholarships.
It was not because I had the best GPA, essay, being involved in extracurricular activities, or community service…it was because I put forth some effort and did what others weren’t willing to do…simply apply.
I even won a Buddhist scholarship and I’m Christian. If you qualify for a scholarship, APPLY for it no matter what “you think” the outcome will be. Religion was not a requirement for that scholarship.
I was recently at a conference and at one of the sessions they talked about how to make smarter college decisions and I was blown away by the information the panelists were giving, especially Pam Andrews who stood out to me.
Pam is a college admissions consultant and a scholarship strategist at ‘The Scholarship Shark LLC’ and I asked to get her input for this article on the best ways I could help others learn how to get scholarships.
She helps high school students get into college and secure scholarships that will pay for it. She is the host of The Scholarship Shark Podcast, author of several books and the creator of ‘In Pursuit of College’ board game.
Pam shares some gold nuggets in this article that I have used that have won me many scholarships.
My biggest tips are to apply to as many local scholarships as you can. The less competition, the better. Also, if you are the first generation in your family attending college or low-income based, call the college you want to attend and see if they have any programs available for your situation.
I was very blessed to get into a program at my school and they paid for my tuition for the first two years thanks to a Government Grant.
That’s my advice, now let’s hear it from the expert along with all the information you need to know about scholarships.
Here is How You Can Get Scholarships
What age should you start applying for scholarships?
You can start applying for scholarships as early as 13. However, the most generous and plentiful scholarships are for high school seniors who will be entering college as incoming freshmen the following fall. When it comes to free college money for younger students, they should search for the terms “contest” and “cash awards”. They are not often called ‘scholarships’.
Where Do You Find Scholarships?
Start with the universities and colleges on your application list. Often students overlook the obvious and miss critical deadlines for college scholarships. These are often the most generous scholarships and are often renewable meaning that as long as you continue to meet eligibility requirements you will continue to earn the scholarship each year.
Scholarship directories list hundreds to thousands of scholarships for students. Several directories are
Scholarship directories offer an online resource to search for scholarships by criteria such as your location, ethnicity, heritage, major, special abilities, etc.
Another place to find scholarships is by visiting your high school guidance counselor. Often local businesses and organizations provide scholarships for students in their area. The way these sponsoring organizations get this information into the hands of the students is through the guidance counselor.
Starting in the 9th grade, students should visit with their guidance counselor specifically inquiring about scholarships. When meeting with the guidance counselor ask her where she posts the scholarships. It may be on a bulletin board near her office, filed in a cabinet, stored in a three-ring binder or uploaded to online school systems such as Naviance.
Local sororities and fraternity’s chapters offer scholarships as well as a college’s alumni association (I received some of these also). Both community groups raise funds that seek endowments to award scholarships to graduating seniors.
Best Advice When Applying for Scholarships
1. Do not let the amount of work required to submit a scholarship application deter you from applying. Many students will look at the amount of work required to write an essay and not take the time to apply for a scholarship. Although scholarships do not need to be repaid and are considered “free” money, it does require an exchange of your time.
2. Make sure you apply prior to the deadline. This may sound obvious but many students simply ignore scholarship deadlines and miss out on opportunities.
3. Check your grammar and spelling. Nothing can turn off a scholarship judge more than an essay that wasn’t proofread for mistakes. If they are taking the time to read it and possibly award money, then the last thing you can do is have it spellchecked.
4. Scholarships have terms and conditions for disbursement so it is important for a student to know what their college’s policy is. Some colleges will apply the awarded scholarship funds to the student’s account and reduce the amount of federal student loan aid and others will not.
If there is an overage, some schools will issue a refund to the student via direct deposit. This overpayment should be used to cover additional college expenses such as books. The best places to look to find a college’s scholarship policy is on the college’s website or contact the financial aid or the bursar office.
I also took a mind-blowing course Winning College Scholarships: 10 Secrets to Free Money for College for only $19 that provides all the scholarships you can earn at a young age all the way into your older years that you won’t find on the sites listed above. It also tells you how to get out of tuition waivers and write winning essays. I can’t believe it was only $19, but I’m not complaining.
Also, with the opportunities high schools are offering now, you can earn college credit and even graduate high school with an Associate’s degree. Going this route will greatly reduce your overall tuition bill, so I highly recommend that you take advantage of getting as many college credits out of the way before you’re required to pay for it.
Did we miss anything? Have any questions? Let us know in the comment section.
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