November is National Scholarship Month, referred to by the National Scholarship Providers Association as a time to raise awareness of scholarship opportunities for current and future college students. November is also an excellent time to begin the scholarship application process if you have not done so already. Apparently, this is no coincidence and was, in fact, the reason behind changing National Scholarship Month from May to November in 2008. Many scholarship providers are posting new scholarship information and competitions for the next academic year and November is also an ideal month to dedicate some time to finding scholarships for the current and coming academic years.
Scholarships play an essential role in paying for college, with a recent poll showing that scholarships and grants cover an average of 15 percent of students' college expenses. Fifteen percent of your tuition bill is a nice chunk of change and even larger dollar amount scholarships are available, including full-tuition scholarships. College scholarships are awarded to students of all ages and levels of education. There are scholarships for high school students, scholarships for undergraduate students, and scholarships for graduate students. There are also specific sources of scholarship funding based on other criteria, such as academic scholarships, athletic scholarships, and scholarships for minorities.
Winning scholarships can be vital to students’ college success. Scholarships help students from disadvantaged backgrounds gain educational opportunities that they would not otherwise have been able to access. Research suggests that scholarship awards open the doors to more prestigious colleges and higher graduation rates for low-income and minority students. Every student who wins a scholarship will benefit in some way, though, from borrowing less in student loans to spending less time working and more time studying — possibly even studying abroad. Scholarships can provide financial and motivational incentives to enrich a student’s college experience.
There are other scholarship advantages, too! Scholarships provide students with a sense of pride and accomplishment, as well as recognition for a job well done. Scholarships celebrate students’ unique talents, which can range from essay writing to something more unusual, like duct tape dressmaking or fluency in the Klingon language. Recognition can be as simple as seeing your name on a scholarship website (such as our testimonials page) or being acknowledged at a national awards ceremony. Winning a scholarship can also be a powerful networking tool, giving students an opportunity to connect with members of the organizations that award their scholarships, as well as with other recipients of scholarship awards.
Earning a scholarship doesn’t end with a monetary prize but is instead the beginning of an overall experience of creating success in your academic and professional life. But to win a scholarship, you first have to apply. While the scholarship application process can be intimidating, Scholarships.com can help. By conducting a free scholarship search at Scholarships.com, students gain access to a database of 2.7 million college scholarships and grants worth over $19 billion. We then narrow this vast array of financial aid opportunities down to a manageable list of scholarships for which you actually qualify, based on the information you provide in your Scholarships.com profile. You can then review your search results whenever you visit, mark your favorites, remove the scholarships that do not interest you and sort your list by deadline, dollar amount and other criteria. We also offer an extensive library of scholarship and financial aid resources which are completely free to use, just like our scholarship search. There are scholarships out there for everyone, even so-called “average” students. So take advantage of National Scholarship Month and search for available scholarships today!
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