How to Get Scholarship Money

One of the biggest challenges college-bound seniors face is how to pay for school. Applying for scholarships should be one of the first steps in their search. However, scholarship myths continue to flourish and need to be dispelled.

Myth #1: Billions of scholarship dollars go unclaimed. In reality, the number of unused scholarships is minuscule.

Myth #2: Scholarships only go to the best students. Many scholarships are awarded based on elements other than academic achievement. Some scholarships are based on the student's major field of study, involvement, ethnicity and geographic origin, as well as other factors.

Myth #3: Scholarship searches are worth paying for. This myth eventually will die as people discover the many free resources available on the Internet or in print media. In many cases, scholarship search services charging fees turn out to be a scam.

So how do students and their parents sort through the myths and get to the facts?

Start the process early, December or January for the next school year, and utilize the resources around you. To find scholarship opportunities, start with your high school guidance counselor and local library for a list of possible resources. Next, check with your college financial aid office. Most states and many colleges offer scholarships, so students should also inquire about them. Finally, the Internet and organizational Web sites are excellent places to search. Remember, this information should always be free.

"Don't count yourself out just because you are not the valedictorian, class president, or star athlete," says Kandi Teeters, assistant director, Financial Aid and Scholarship Office at Eastern Washington University. "There are scholarships available for many interests, backgrounds and abilities. The bottom line is -- APPLY. And, the more scholarships for which you apply, especially local and regional opportunities, the better your odds are to be selected."

No comments:

Post a Comment