The search for scholarships can feel a bit overwhelming. After all, how do you get started? How do you actually find these awards? And what do you do when you find them? We’ll give you a rundown of questions you may have during your search, but also show you the easiest and less stressful way of finding these awards. These tips will actually free up a lot of your time to do things you enjoy a bit more than just searching for scholarships!
How Do You Find Scholarships?
Before you can even apply for scholarships, you need to know where to find them. And it’s not just about finding any award – you should only apply to ones you’re qualified for. This will help ensure you actually have a chance of winning. Completing an application for any award you come across will result in a lot of wasted time.
So how do you find them?
Use Scholarship Databases
One of the easiest ways to find and also track scholarships is through online databases. These tools will collect information from you when you sign up, and use that data to uncover the scholarships you actually qualify for. The amount of time this saves is astounding. You still should check over every award’s qualifications, but you won’t be sifting through pile after pile of scholarships that you don’t fit the requirements of.
These databases will also notify you if new awards become available, so you don’t constantly have to start new searches.
Did you know that College Raptor offers a scholarship search tool?
Talk to Your Guidance Counselor
It’s likely that your high school’s guidance office also has a number of local scholarships available to students. Schedule a meeting with them to discuss these awards, advice for applying, and other tips that can come in handy.
What Do You Need to Apply to Scholarships?
Every scholarship will have different criteria when it comes to the application process. Some will simply ask for a barebones form with your contact information. Others may ask for:
- An essay
- A video
- Financial information
- Academic references
- Letters of recommendation
- ACT or SAT scores
- A photo
What Scholarships Should You Apply For?
As mentioned above, you should only apply to scholarships you actually qualify for. But aside from that – should you apply to every award that fits that criteria?
The answer is most likely yes, you should. Even if the award amount is small, this money will add up – especially if you have to take out student loans. It will save you on the interest. And if you win several, you have a good chunk of money you can put towards your education.
Did you know, too, that fewer students apply to scholarships that offer less money? They tend to be less competitive, and you could have a higher chance of winning one of these! But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try for those big awards, too!
Getting started off on the right foot is a must when it comes to applying for your scholarships. A database is one of the easiest ways to begin with the least amount of work!