So, what are Scholarships and why are many current and prospective students mislead? Scholarships are a very beneficial piece in the Financial Aid package that do not have to be paid back…to anyone! Scholarships can be offered for a few hundred bucks, or they can cover your entire tuition as all scholarships aim to do one thing, help students further your education. Scholarships are offered by pretty much any University, non-profit, community, government entity and/or organization out there for all age groups. In Fact, there are over $10 million in scholarship money available to active students and as long as you are accepted to a school you are eligible to apply. To get a more in-depth understanding about what scholarships are lets talk about the different types of scholarships out there by breaking them down at the highest level. By highest level we mean the top 4 general category’s out there that stretch across a multitude of areas.
As the name suggests, National scholarships are open to the entire country and can have many more applicants given the fact that the eligibility spans past the University local and State levels. There are a multitude of these scholarships out there and it can be intimidating to stay the least, but stick to a few key scholarship tips and the list can be much more manageable. Two of the most famous National Scholarships would be the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and the Harry S Truman Scholarship.
Every state will have there own type of scholarship designed (usually) for residents of that state and/or individuals that will be attending a college within that state. These scholarships are not as fierce as some of the National scholarships, but will still be fairly competitive. One of the most well know to many is the CalGrant from the State of California.
Local Scholarships can be very lucrative and are scholarships that you will find offered by your city, town or district that you live in. Many times you will find that your local church, mosque or other religious community have some sort of scholarship set up that tailor to those individuals that live locally. A few other examples include your local chapters, such as the Rotary Club, Kiwanis, etc… One often under utilized local scholarships is researching your own employer for scholarships and/or tuition assistance they may offer specifically to you as an employee!
Institutional Scholarships are the most common types of scholarships that students will receive as many times they are given out to students based solely on the Financial Aid Application to that college. Furthermore, awards can be offered on a college-wide basis or within a particular college or major you enroll in. As there is such a vast array of institutional scholarships offered at every college it is recommended that you research or reach out to the College you wish to attend to see what types of grants you may be eligible for. As stated earlier, you may need to fill out the financial aid forms in order for the college to get a better assessment, but that does not mean you are committed to going to that school.
Start you Scholarship search and apply
As you take the first step to look for scholarships it is very important to not let rejection get in your way. The hard truth is, you will be rejected for most scholarships, but what we know for sure is that persistence, determination and taking action are all needed as many times getting the right scholarships is a number game. So, don’t be discouraged by the first denial or the process…as we have heard a million times, “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon” and we know that you can persevere!
Ready to get started on your scholarship search, but still not sure where start? Check out this article, Preparation is KING.