Isn’t the Internet great? It’s truly one of the most versatile inventions in history, capable of assisting the average person with virtually any task. In a typical evening, you can search for apartments, buy virtually anything, catch up on an entire season of your favorite TV show, play tons of addictive games, upload and caption pictures of your cats, and chat for free with friends across the globe, all without leaving your desk. In addition to communicating, shopping, and being entertained, you can also work, attend college, and even find ways to pay for school online.
Online scholarship opportunities are abundant, as are online scholarship searches. There are even scholarship programs specifically for students who also attend class online. Technological advances and marked increases in access to the Internet have revolutionized the scholarship world, allowing all kinds of college students and college-bound students more access to money for college than ever before. Of course, in addition to offering a host of scholarship information, application, and awards, the online world can also propagate scholarship myths and scams.
So how can you tell what scholarship information is legitimate and what isn’t? Read up on the telltale signs of scholarship scams, search only through free and reputable scholarship websites, and when in doubt, research the company offering the scholarship or search service. Look for Better Business Bureau complaints and ties to known or suspected scammers. Check out their privacy policies and professional affiliations, as well. There are definitely sources of valuable scholarship information online, but if someone’s offering you something that sounds entirely too good to be true or trying to charge you a fee to access information, be wary.
Additionally, if a scholarship provider is offering you a small award for a fee, asking for credit card or banking information, guaranteeing you’ll win, or otherwise sounding less than legitimate, watch out. Do your research and make sure that the scholarships you’re spending time on are offered by real organizations with real intentions of helping real students attend college. One quick and easy way to protect yourself from scholarship scams is to use a free scholarship search, like the one provided by Scholarships.com, that reviews each award listed in its database to make sure users don’t get scammed.
So you’ve discovered that in addition to finding scholarships online, you can also apply for scholarships without wasting paper or stamps. Being able to type and electronically submit your application increases convenience and cuts down on the possibility of error, provided you take a few basic steps to ensure that your scholarship application process goes smoothly.
While some online scholarship applications allow you to save your work and come back to it later, this is not the case with every form. So before beginning the application, spend some time getting organized and making sure you have everything you’ll need to submit written out and saved on your computer, especially if the scholarship provider requires an essay. That way you can take your time to review your online scholarship application before you submit it, without having to worry about losing all your progress if the application page times out or your connection drops while you’re in the middle of applying. Then, when you have everything ready, you’ll just need to upload your saved work, e-mail it as an attachment, or copy and paste it into the appropriate forms as instructed by the scholarship provider.
To increase your chances of winning scholarships, it’s also good to run all application materials through a spellchecker (and by at least one other human being, as well) before you hit the submit button. That way you can avoid embarrassing typos or other mistakes likely to dissuade scholarship reviewers from awarding you any scholarship money. When you have access to numerous free spellchecking tools, dictionaries, thesauruses, and guides to modern English grammar at your fingertips, there’s no excuse for obvious errors in a scholarship application. Even when penmanship isn’t a factor, sloppy writing and poor formatting can still disqualify you from a scholarship competition.
To start finding online scholarships, conduct a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Also be sure to check out the fourteen $1000 Area of Study College Scholarships offered by Scholarships.com, all of which are available online. Scholarships, grants, and other financial aid can all be found online if you know where and how to look. Check out our other college resources for more information on how to create success by finding online scholarships and other financial aid for college.
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