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When it comes to scholarships, students and their parents become extremely excited and eager to apply for them. But do they know where to look for them? The most effective way is to research what is out there first before applying.
First, we suggest students and their parents compile a list and choose wisely which ones are worth applying. In order to save time and effort, we suggest talking to your peers, teachers, and counselors and asking them what they think. Second, we recommend applying to scholarships early and making a schedule for you in terms of the deadlines and the requirements. It is best to do this through Microsoft Word or Excel because you want your plan to be organized and neat. Third, we advise students to break down their application procedures in small pieces and do not rush through them. You should write essays in a coherent and grammatically correct format and you should always ask someone to proofread them for you before submitting. We say you should never find yourself in a position where you feel you just want to finish this as soon as possible because this will reduce the quality of work that you are submitting!
We know that applying to universities and colleges is already overwhelming, but keeping your head in the game is extremely important and crucial in helping you reduce college tuition and planning for the future. To reduce the time of finding possible scholarships, I have compiled a list for you. Look and examine them carefully as they will help you succeed in the future!
Lastly, scholarships can include funding from all kinds of sources such as governmental scholarships, college or universities scholarships, and private scholarships. Private scholarships are hard to get to and require a lot of writing essays and submitting transcripts. And sometimes your family IRS tax transcript is needed if you are applying to need based scholarships.
The most common source of governmental scholarships is from FASFA. What is FASFA? FASFA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. When you have applied to FASFA, the government examines the kind of funding to provide to you according to your family income. If your family income is high, then you will get less aid compare to that of students whose family income is low. The common funding or scholarships available include TAP (Tuition Assistance Program), Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work Study. The amounts that are issued from these funding or scholarships are dependent upon your family income and may vary from year to year. To go in detail, the TAP and Federal Pell Grant are issued to students every year in their financial package; they vary from couple of hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. Federal Work Study is really useful for students because this offers the ability to work on campus related jobs. These jobs can be related to your major or not.
We recommend finding something that relates to your major because the experiences gained will help you apply to graduate school or find a job. Federal Work study grant is issued every year and you can only work that amount of hours to fulfill or to complete the grant. If you want to know more about the information regarding FASFA and what it entails, you can find it here: https://fafsa.ed.gov/
If you want to find more information about federal student aid by the office of the U.S department of education, here is the link below:
If you want to find other governmental funding/scholarship, you can look for them through university or college websites that you are interested in. For example the McNair’s program is designed to fund undergraduate students who are potentially interested in a variety of disciplines. The funding includes the ability to conduct research during the summer and the school year; furthermore, it provides the ability to attend career related training workshops. The only negative side about this is that students who apply need to meet the requirements. You must be either first generation college student or you must meet the family income eligibility. If you are interested, you can find more information here: http://mcnairscholars.com/
Other opportunities for governmental funding/scholarship are through volunteering in the community. One of the Americorps’ programs called Jumpstart provides the opportunity for college students to participate and get involved in the community through teaching preschool children. After the service, the students who have participated and finished their hours would get a grant that pays toward their tuition. For me personally and academically, it is great way to interact with the people in the community and actually learn from the experience. If you are interested in knowing more about the programs, you can find them here: http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps
For government funding/scholarships, some are financially need based and some are volunteering based. Whatever they are, I advise students to look for them before attending college. In doing so, it helps you organize what you want to apply for and what are your goals for the upcoming school year. For undergraduates, there is not a lot of governmental funding/scholarships and for the most part, funding/scholarships would come from the university or the college that you choose to attend.
University or College Funding/Scholarship
When you have an excellent GPA and SAT score, then you probably qualify for some type of university or college funding/scholarship. For private universities or colleges, the funding/scholarship is much more than public universities or colleges. Except for Ivy League universities or colleges, it is much harder to obtain money because everyone wants to go and there are not enough seats. Overall, I see the scholarships that the universities and colleges offer are substantial out of all the aids.
In general, there are the presidential scholarships and the academic merit scholarships. Most students get the academic merit scholarships which range from couple of hundreds to twenty thousand dollars. Presidential scholarship basically covers the tuition and is offered to couple of students or freshmen coming into university. If you do not get the presidential scholarship, you do not have to be extremely upset because the criteria to assess the scholarship is based on all kinds of sources such as GPA, SAT score, extracurricular activities, honors or rewards, AP courses, and etc. If you want to know more about it, here are the links to more resources!
Private scholarships are the most hard to get because the money comes from the hands of private individuals. Usually, the boards of reviewers who overlook the applications are looking for certain qualities or traits that the applicants have. Sometimes, it is not about whether or not you have the academic credentials; rather it is about whether or not they like you from the application essays. My advice to you is apply for them carefully and do not be upset when you do not get anything from them. You have to always try your best and keep trying until you get there.
There are various resources online to look for private scholarships. There act like search engines. You can enter your basic information (GPA, SAT score, ethnicity, and etc) into these search engines and the website filter out the available scholarships for you. Here the links below:
In additional there are various articles online that talk about college scholarships. It is always great to read someone else’s article about applying to scholarships and maybe some else’s experience will help you make a better candidate for the scholarships. Here are the links below: