Scholarships are touted as the best way to pay for your education, but there are several secrets about them that you probably don’t know – but should! From understanding how much you really need to how to find and apply for them, here are nine secrets about scholarships you should definitely know.
THE SCHOOL DOESN’T PAY
Except for scholarships, the school doesn’t pay for your tuition or living expenses. That is up to you, your parents, and the government. So it makes sense that they should be considered as one of the key factors in deciding where to attend college. Scholarships are a good way to offset those costs.
They can help you afford to go to a more expensive school, which might be worth it if there’s an academic program that you really want to take part in. If not, then there are plenty of schools out there with less expensive programs and scholarships available for them too.
Remember that scholarships don’t have strict deadlines like some other types of financial aid; many will still accept late applications! And others might even provide award extensions. Plus, there are different types of scholarships that you can apply for: need-based and merit-based.
Need-based awards usually require a student to fill out a FAFSA form but sometimes offer full funding. Merit-based awards generally do not require any additional paperwork but instead prioritize students who excel academically or demonstrate exceptional community service skills.
SCHOLARSHIPS ARE EASIER TO APPLY FOR THAN GRANTS
Scholarship applications are often shorter than grant applications, and scholarship committees often have more funding than the average grant. It’s easier to apply for a scholarship than for a grant because you don’t need to provide as much detail about how the money will be spent.
The application is also usually shorter than a grant application. And since most scholarships come from private organizations with their own funds, they’re often willing to award larger amounts of money per student.
Grants are typically only funded by public entities like state and federal governments, so there’s less competition for those grants in comparison to scholarships.
So even if your grades aren’t great, it might still be worth applying for a scholarship!
SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS TAKE TIME, THEY AREN’T QUICK & EASY
Applying for scholarships can be tedious, but it’s worth it. The more effort you put into your applications, the more likely you are to succeed. Here are nine secrets about scholarships that will make the process easier and more rewarding:
- Think of yourself as a salesperson. Sell yourself in your application!
- Make sure your application is tailored to each scholarship recipient’s preferences and needs.
- Keep an eye out for new scholarships that match your interests and availability.
- Spend time on your essays; it’s usually the most important part of a scholarship application.
- Apply for as many scholarships as possible so you have multiple chances of winning.
- Search for outside scholarships with less competition than college-sponsored ones or those from professional organizations like fraternities or sororities.
- 7a. Request letters of recommendation from teachers who know you well.
- 7b. Create a budget and stick to it when applying for scholarships.
- Read all instructions carefully before starting your application – this includes essay questions, any word count limitations, and due dates.
- Be persistent! If you don’t get one scholarship, apply for others. There’s always a chance to win one if you keep trying!
As hard as it may seem at times, being resourceful pays off in the end. Even if you miss out on this particular opportunity, there are plenty more to go around!
HIGH GRADES ARE IMPORTANT BUT NOT EVERYTHING
Most scholarships are merit-based, so it’s important to keep your grades up. However, while grades are an important factor, they aren’t the only ones. There are also a number of other factors that can influence whether or not you get a scholarship.
For example, most schools will have application requirements that include essays, essays, and recommendations. Schools may be looking for different things in these applications. For example, if the school wants to see what kind of student life you would have at their institution then they might be more interested in your essay than your GPA.
They might want to know how involved you are on campus and what kinds of activities you enjoy doing outside of class. Other schools might care about athletics or leadership positions you’ve held in high school. Make sure you’re aware of what admissions officers are looking for before you apply to any schools!
If you need help with figuring out which schools best fit your interests and ambitions, I recommend using College Factual. All the information is there so that you don’t have to waste time applying to colleges without knowing anything about them beforehand!
APPLYING EARLY GIVES YOU AN EDGE
You may have heard that the scholarship application process is competitive, but did you know that applying early can give you a better chance at getting a scholarship?
Applying early is one way to give yourself an edge. The earlier in the year you apply, the more time you will have to submit your best work and get feedback from teachers before it’s due. And some scholarships don’t start accepting applications until January or later! If you plan on applying for a scholarship, be sure to find out when the deadlines are.
If they’re coming up soon, start working on your essays now so you’ll be ready when they open. Remember to visit our website for updates and upcoming deadlines!
WRITING SKILLS ARE ESSENTIAL WHEN IT COMES TO ESSAYS
One of the toughest challenges for students is writing an essay. Whether you’re writing a research paper or a personal statement, essays are difficult and time-consuming. But they don’t have to be.
Here are 9 secrets to writing an effective essay:
- Read your work aloud before handing it in to make sure your sentence structure is clear and understandable
- Start with the basic five-paragraph essay format: introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion
- Make sure your opening paragraph hooks the reader’s interest
- Maintain a formal tone throughout the entire essay
- Proofread your work carefully after completing it
- Use transition words such as in addition, moreover, however, etc., to indicate relationships between ideas that can help maintain flow and clarity within sentences or paragraphs
- Avoid long, complex sentences by breaking them up into shorter ones
- Avoid first-person pronunciation such as I or we when possible
- Include quotes from sources you’ve consulted if they will add to your argument
- Avoid ending with a clever phrase or line that doesn’t contribute to your essay’s overall effectiveness
PERFECT GRAMMAR IS NOT ESSENTIAL WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR ESSAY
Some colleges will require you to submit a written essay with your application. This is the time to be creative and let your personality shine through.
The essay doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be something that makes the admissions officer want to get to know you better.
It might seem like this opportunity is too good to be true, but there are some things you need to consider before accepting any scholarship offer: what is their financial situation? How many hours do they work per week? What are their college plans after graduation? Can they afford to work while in school?
Find out what kind of services the scholarship provider offers. Once you’ve done your research, make sure that everything aligns with your own personal needs and goals for higher education. If not, then don’t sign on the dotted line!
SAVE YOURSELF SOME STRESS BY HAVING SOMEONE PROOFREAD YOUR APPLICATION BEFORE SUBMITTING
Before submitting your scholarship application, have someone else take a look at it. Even if you think you know what you’re doing, a second opinion can make all the difference. And don’t be shy about asking for help from people who are familiar with the type of scholarship you’re applying for.
There’s no need to feel intimidated by scholarships – just read these secrets and get ready to apply!
What are some secrets about scholarships that might surprise you?
One thing is that there are many scholarships out there specifically designed to support underrepresented groups in higher education. These include LGBTQIA+, African American/Black, Latino/a, Native American/American Indian, Asian Pacific Islander American*, Female students (regardless of race), and students with disabilities.
When in doubt, you should check out websites like Fastweb or College Board for their list of top scholarships; they also have tools for finding other potential opportunities too.
COMPETITION IS FIERCE, SO DON’T BE DISCOURAGED IF YOU GET DENIED
It can be difficult to apply for scholarships if you don’t know where to start. There are literally thousands of scholarships out there and it can be hard to know which ones are worth your time. Plus, competition is fierce, so don’t be discouraged if you get denied. Here are nine secrets about scholarships that you may not have known:
- Scholarships exist for a variety of reasons
- Scholarship deadlines are earlier than you think ;
- Awards often come with strings attached;
- There are scholarships just for students with certain majors or degrees;
- Look outside of the U.S.;
- Check your financial aid package;
- Most scholarship opportunities are available on Facebook and Twitter;
- If you’re applying for student loans, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
- Be sure to use proper grammar!
So now that you know the truth about scholarships, it’s time to get started! And don’t worry, there are a lot of resources out there to help you succeed.
The Internet is your best friend when it comes to researching and finding scholarship opportunities for your specific circumstances, so start looking around today!
Another great way to find scholarships is by talking with people who have won them before. If you know someone who has been lucky enough to win a scholarship, ask them what their experience was like and what they did in order to win the scholarship.
Finally, be sure that if you win a scholarship, use it wisely and make the most out of your opportunity.