February 2, 2009
This week's Scholarship of the Week is one of those rare scholarship opportunities that reward students for doing something they quite possibly already wanted to do. The Zinch Ammunition for Tuition $25,000 Scholarship is a scholarship award for high school students who complete a profile on Zinch.com. Applicants are judged based on both merit and need, as determined by the information they include in their Zinch student profiles.
So why is this something you might already want to do? A profile on Zinch not only allows you to compete for a sizable amount of scholarship money, but also allows you to find colleges that cater to your interests and get in touch with recruiters from colleges you want to attend. It's not often you find a scholarship competition that not only helps you pay for college, but helps you find a college, as well.
High school students graduating between 2009 and 2012 with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Both US citizens and international students are eligible to enter.
April 10, 2009
A student profile completed to the best of your ability on Zinch.com
Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.
February 5, 2009
February is a short month, but it's jam-packed with celebrations. I'm not just talking about Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras. February is Black History Month, a reminder that long before President Obama took office, African Americans were doing some pretty amazing things. Black History Month is a great opportunity to learn about and commemorate important people and events that often go overlooked in American history. It's also a great time to seek out new scholarship opportunities.
Several local scholarships have Black History Month themes, and we've featured a small sampling of them on our Black History Month Scholarships resource page.
If you're an African American student looking to make your own contribution to Black history, and history in general, a great place to start is with our list of African American scholarships. After all, there's nothing like a college education to help you achieve your goals and change the world.
In addition to raising awareness of the important roles African Americans have played throughout American history, two of the major goals of Black History Month are combating injustice and promoting equality--after all, its original dates were chosen to celebrate two key players in the early civil rights movement, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Students who have taken part in efforts with similar goals may want to take some time this month to commemorate their own achievements by applying for community service scholarships.
To apply for the scholarship awards mentioned above or to learn about other sources of money for college, conduct a free college scholarship search.
February 9, 2009
A career in technology can be exciting and rewarding, not to mention financially lucrative. However, the path to this career typically includes a college education, which isn't exactly cheap. Technical fields have demanding coursework and in some cases, astronomical course fees. These and other factors can make paying for school even more challenging for technology students. To ensure that these challenges do not become roadblocks, Scholarships.com offers a $1,000 college scholarship for students who plan to pursue a career in technology. And since all you need to apply is a short essay explaining your interest in this area of study, this week's Scholarship of the Week could be one of the easiest steps in your education.
Applicants for the Scholarships.com College Technology Scholarship must be U.S. citizens and either undergraduate students or high school seniors who plan to enroll in an accredited college or university in the coming fall.
Applicants must have indicated an interest in one of the following majors:
March 31, 2009
A completed Scholarships.com profile and a 250 to 350-word scholarship essay written in response to the question, "What has influenced your decision to pursue a career in technology?"
September 14, 2009
Often, scholarship opportunities also serve as opportunities for students to think about and respond to pressing issues of the day, and one of the problems weighing most heavily on society in the last year has been the global economic crisis. While the recession has begun showing signs of abating, it is still creating serious problems in several areas of life, ranging from paying for school to owning a home.
Homeowners have been facing threats of foreclosure due to a combination of factors related to the recession, and this problem could still get worse before it gets better. The real estate website Foreclosure.com is sponsoring a scholarship essay contest that invites college students to propose solutions to the ongoing spike in foreclosures. With a $5,000 top prize for the scholarship essay that best explains "how to solve the foreclosure crisis," the Foreclosure.com Scholarship Program is this week's Scholarship of the Week.
Prize: Top prize is $5,000 and four runners-up will receive $1,000
Eligibility: Students who are currently enrolled in or have been accepted to an accredited college, university, law school or trade school in the United States. U.S. citizenship is required.
Deadline: December 31, 2009
Required Material: A completed online scholarship application, along with an essay of 1,000 to 2,500 words addressing the essay topic. Scholarship applications will be judged on writing ability, creativity, originality, and overall excellence.
September 11, 2009
Unless you're lucky enough to happen across an extremely obscure and unusual scholarship with only one or two qualified applicants, you are going to have to face some competition to receive a scholarship award. In the case of essay scholarships that are easy to enter or that come with a substantial award, you may be facing quite a lot of competition. In fact, with many scholarship competitions, you may be up against so much competition that there's no guarantee a reviewer will even have time to completely read and digest each scholarship essay submitted. This makes your essay's introduction vitally important.
The first sentence of your scholarship application is your first, best and possibly only chance to capture your reader's attention. To have the best chance at winning scholarships, you need to know how to start your essay off right. The following are some tips to help you craft an eye-catching introduction that gets your foot in the door and gets your application the attention it deserves.
Put it in your own words. While starting with a quote is a common technique in speaking and some writing, it may not work best in a scholarship application essay. Leading with a quote shows the reviewer that you know how to read, but it doesn't tell much else about you or your ideas. Use your own words to begin, and if a quote supports or enhances your argument, consider bringing it in later in the essay.
Avoid clichés and tired phrases. One of your essay's goals should be to distinguish you from the competition, and it won't do this if it rehashes the same overused expressions that everyone else employs. Keep in mind that the scholarship reviewer will be reading hundreds or even thousands of applications. What seems clever or cute the first time doesn't seem that way after the 50th or 100th iteration. A good rule to follow is that if a phrase belongs on a bumper sticker or in an e-mail from your mom, it likely does not belong in your scholarship essay.
Establish a personal connection. If your experience gives you a unique perspective on the essay's topic, show your reader this. Most people are suckers for personal anecdotes, provided the stories are interesting and well-told. Make sure the story you tell fits these criteria and actually enriches your essay and contributes to your overall message. Don't get melodramatic and don't bog down your introduction in an overly long, detailed or irrelevant narrative, but if you've got a good story to tell to frame your essay, use it.
Say something new. Are you arguing something that falls well outside the typical series of canned responses? Consider leading with your thesis, or at least some of the information or realizations that guided your essay towards its thesis. There's no better way to stand out from a pile of fairly standard responses than to have something fresh and thought-provoking to contribute with your scholarship application.
With a solid introduction and a thoughtful and well-written response, you'll be well on your way to writing a scholarship-worthy essay.
December 7, 2009
Are you a hardworking high school student frustrated by the emphasis on GPA and test scores in many scholarship contests? If you've ever caught yourself thinking, "sure, anyone can get a 4.0 if they take easy enough classes," you may want to check out the Dell Scholars Program, this week's Scholarship of the Week. The Dell Scholars Program seeks to reward students who use their high school experience to prepare for college, taking challenging classes and participating in college-readiness programs, while taking care of other responsibilities outside of school.
High school seniors who have participated for two years in an approved college-readiness program, such as AVID or Upward Bound, while maintaining at least a 2.4 GPA are eligible to apply for the Dell Scholars Program, which carries a scholarship award of $20,000. The scholarship application focuses primarily on a student's dedication to college success, asking questions about your non-scholastic activities and responsibilities, the challenges you face, the steps you've taken to prepare for college, and the amount of financial support you need for college. Dell Scholars are students who have the drive to push themselves to earn a bachelor's degree.
Prize: $20,000 - 250 scholarships awarded
Eligibility: High school seniors who are U.S citizens or permanent residents and who plan to enroll in a bachelor's degree program at an accredited higher education institution next fall. Applicants must have participated in a college readiness program for two years with a cumulative GPA of 2.4 or higher, and must have demonstrated financial need for college.
Deadline: January 15, 2010
Required Material: Completed online scholarship application (available on the Dell Scholars website). The application may require information from your high school transcripts and your and your parents' tax returns, and will also include a couple of short essay questions. Semifinalists will be asked to provide a letter of recommendation, a copy of their high school transcript, and FAFSA Student Aid Report, as well
Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.
November 16, 2009
Scholarships.com has a guest blog post on the Church Hill Classics DiplomaFrame Blog today in honor of National Scholarship Month. Although squeezing more work into your already hectic schedule may not seem like the best cause for celebration, free money for college certainly is. We go through some basic tips for starting your scholarship search and completing scholarship applications.
To read more and to check out the Church Hill Classics website, visit http://www.diplomaframe.com. Church Hill Classics offers a variety of diploma framing options, as well as the Frame My Future Scholarship, which has previously been featured as a Scholarships.com Scholarship of the Week.
November 13, 2009
Cancellations and cutbacks to scholarship programs have been making the news a lot lately. Michigan recently ended its state Promise Scholarship in the face of a budget crisis (though the state's governor vows to restore funding) and other states and companies are also having to make some hard cuts. The latest round has left five high-achieving Arizona high school juniors without the four-year full-tuition scholarship they signed a contract to receive in the fifth grade.
Budgetary cutbacks aren't the only way that students can lose scholarship money. Many scholarship funds are only designated for a set amount of time: four years, two years, or just one check. Other awards are contingent on strict eligibility criteria. A dip in your GPA, a semester where you drop below full-time, or a transfer to another college or university could potentially make you ineligible for a renewable scholarship award. All of this can change your college funding picture dramatically from year-to-year.
Students who are transferring will want to see if their new college offers scholarships for transfer students. If your scholarship is from your college, it's unlikely to transfer to your new school unless there's a preexisting special arrangement between the two institutions. However, if you've won an outside scholarship, especially one from a state or national organization, you should contact the provider to see if the award will transfer to your new school. You also will want to do a scholarship search--many national scholarship awards are designated specifically for transfer students, especially students who are moving from community colleges to four-year schools.
Students who have lost their scholarship from not meeting eligibility criteria will often have a chance to appeal the decision to revoke the award. Ask the scholarship provider if there's an appeals process, and follow the instructions exactly in as timely a manner as possible. If there are extenuating circumstances that led to the situation, you may need to document them. Above all, be polite and respectful and try to create a good impression, even if your appeal is denied. Awards that run out can also occasionally be appealed for an extension, or applied for again for a possible second round of funding. Check the rules for the contest or ask the scholarship provider if this is the case. Even if you lose eligibility for one award, it doesn't mean you're ineligible for all scholarship opportunities. Search for scholarships to see what else you may be able to find.
Finally, if your scholarship program has been canceled, there are still things you can do. Some providers, like our Arizona example above, will help students find alternate funding, and may even be able to supplement some of the difference between what they promised and what you can't find on your own. Some colleges are also making up for cuts in high-profile state and local scholarship programs by creating their own scholarship funds for the students affected. Other schools have emergency aid or one-time scholarships available to students who find themselves suddenly without the means to pay their tuition. Check with your financial aid office to see if your school can help.
Students who have already succeeded at winning scholarships are also likely to win more, since so many scholarship providers have similar criteria. If you find yourself caught without scholarship money you had planned to use, try to find some time to apply for additional awards. You may even win more money than what you lost.
August 29, 2011
I am your average student. I got decent grades in high school, applied to college, got accepted to college, and paid for my education with multiple student loans. I have taken classes I loved (and didn’t love), been involved in extracurricular activities and clubs, and have truly grown as a person during my time in college. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive prestigious grants or scholarships to limit the debt I’ll surely incur after graduation.
There are many college students who are in the same boat...so what can we do? How can we afford the education we deserve? How can we make sure we have enough funds for books and food? How can we buy those super trendy shoes Kim Kardashian was just spotted wearing when we have loan payments looming? Okay, maybe the last question isn't as important but if you want to avoid student loan debt, start searching for scholarships.
And don’t just search – search early! There are plenty of scholarships out there and the more you apply to, the better your chances are of winning one. All awards are different but many scholarship providers begin their application processes at the beginning of the fall semester so start looking now to avoid missing important deadlines. I learned this the hard way: I found lots of perfect scholarships...after the deadlines had passed.
Whether you’re still in high school or a super senior in college, do me – and yourself! – a huge favor: Make scholarships a priority. You can do this easily by creating a Scholarships.com account; not only will you have access to an entire database of awards but you’ll also receive regular email reminders about new awards and due dates. With the college costs showing no signs of decreasing, every penny counts – just make sure they come without interest if you can!
Shari Williams is a junior at Towson University with a double major in deaf studies and broadcast journalism and a minor in entertainment, media and film. With experience in public relations, a love for music and a passion for acting, she longs to be a jack of all trades. A Baltimore native, Shari is an avid traveler and opportunity seeker. She hopes to become the next face seen on the morning news or the voice heard over the radio.
July 6, 2011
Before starting school, I didn’t know very much about college life but now that I will be in school a year beyond my expected graduation date, I know what I could have done to enter the real world sooner.
At Towson, all freshmen receive class schedules assembled by the school. I didn't think to change the times of the classes (which were all at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday), nor did I research the professors. This turned out to be a huge mistake – I never was a morning person and I got stuck with some of the worst professors at Towsonmy school – as was the number of credits (12). I figured my university that I pay thousands of dollars in tuition to attend would know best, so I stuck with only 12 credits from then on. It was another oversight: Even though 12 credits is considered as full time, 12 credits is not enough to take every semester in order to graduate in four years without taking winter or summer classes. I had to figure this out myself and adjusted my class schedule accordingly.
I’m not saying you need to overload yourself with academics and never leave your dorm room – that’s not a college experience to remember! – but I am saying take as many classes as you can comfortably manage. If you have the means or have grants and scholarships, you can always take some classes over the summer or the next semester as long as it falls accordingly to your academic plan. Simply do what is best for you.
Graduating a four-year program in five years is not the end of the world but it is not something that you should shoot for, either. If you can handle five or more classes each semester, take them; you can also consider enrolling in a few online courses or opting to take a few classes pass/fail. Take what you can handle so that you can succeed.
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