Applying for and receiving financial aid is an important part of the college admissions process. If you can’t pay your tuition, you won’t be able to go to your intended college. That’s why it’s important to look at all of your financial aid options, including reading up on scholarship information to find out what you need to do before applying for awards.
We always stress that you should apply early and apply often, as awards are being added to scholarship databases constantly and many have deadlines that could be fast approaching. Conduct a free scholarship search on Scholarships.com as your first step toward finding awards you’re eligible for and browse through our site to find helpful tips and advice on the scholarship application process. The more scholarship information you have, the more prepared you’ll be to start the process and land your share of the free money out there to supplement your financial aid package for college.
How Do I Find Scholarships?
You may feel like it isn’t worth it to apply to scholarship awards because of how competitive many of them are. But someone has to win, so why shouldn’t it be you? Landing an award isn’t easy but there are ways to improve your chances, especially if the scholarship you find is focused on criteria specific to your student profile. Qualification criteria vary so much from scholarship provider to scholarship provider that most people seeking scholarships could certainly find some assistance. Apply for academic scholarships if you have a stellar GPA and standardized test scores to match but don’t forget all the things that make you unique and could land you free money to pad your financial aid package.
One of the most important steps once you find an award that interests you is to read the directions (pay attention especially to deadlines), qualifications (if you don’t meet the criteria exactly, don’t apply) and fine print carefully (an award you have to pay for to receive could be a scholarship scam). Paying attention to detail will also help you from making minor mistakes that will send your application to the bottom of the judges’ pile. Remember that there are scholarship opportunities out there for everyone, even if your strengths have nothing to do with academics. Browse through our site to see some of our secrets to success and scholarship information on how to make your application stand out and look like a winning entry. Rather than fruitlessly searching through irrelevant or insignificant scholarship offers, students who visit Scholarships.com find applicable scholarship information that can be sorted by title, deadline, relevancy or maximum amount of money awarded.
When Should I Apply?
According to the National Scholarship Database, nearly 60 percent of scholarship deadlines fall between the months of February and April. Therefore, students should begin applying at least a few months prior to this, preferably sometime between September and December. You can use the summer months to complete last minute scholarship applications and finalize loan plans but the bulk of the work should be completed well before then. More importantly, students should always submit their scholarship information before the application deadline. Many organizations will not even glance at late arrivals when determining recipients of scholarship awards, so you could be out of luck if you’re even a day late. Some applications may require you to put in some time but once you've completed an application or two, you might find it will get easier and take less time with each additional one scholarship award. You may even find that you’re able to use components of some applications for other scholarships, such as essays or personal statements.
What Tips Should I Keep in Mind?
The misinformation and scholarship myths out there could scare anyone out of applying for college scholarships. If you do a little research now, you’ll find that not only is the scholarship application process not as time-consuming and intense as you may think, but that there are awards out there for almost everyone. If you know what to look for in an award, you’ll be less likely to find yourself paying to either enter to win an award or to use a scholarship search website. With options like Scholarships.com, there’s no need to ever pay to get an extensive list of awards you qualify for. You don’t need to look too hard to find scholarships you could be eligible for and students who know what scholarship information judges are looking for will have a head start on the competition and the best chance at winning scholarships. Some of the more important things to remember include applying early (or at least before the deadline), meeting all requirements, following all directions, proofreading and, if the opportunity presents itself, expressing personality and stressing individuality.
Browse through our site to see the kind of scholarship information you’ll need to find awards worthy of your attention and you’ll find that once you start the process, you’ll be surprised you hadn’t started searching sooner.