Many families often believe that they must be wealthy in order for their child to enjoy the advantages of private school. While a private school education can be expensive, there are student scholarships available which can ease the burden of expensive school tuitions and supplies. Here's how to apply for scholarships.
- Scholarship Sources- Scholarships can be funded in a number of ways. For religious or parochial schools, local churches often contribute a portion of their yearly budget for scholarships, as well as other school-related expenses to help support a local private school. Corporations sometimes partner with private schools, offering money that can be used to fund scholarships for those children who might not be able to afford a private education. In some states, businesses are encouraged to donate funds through a corporate tuition tax credit, which allows the contributing company to reduce the amount of taxes they owe by every dollar they donate to a private educational institution.
- Qualifications-Unlike private school grants, scholarships aren't usually based on need. Instead, they are given based on the talents of particular students. Students who are high achievers in academics, athletics, music, and/or the arts are typically considered for one. Because there is usually only a small amount of scholarship money available to award, the competition can be stiff.
- Application Process-The application process should be approached much like any other type of financial aid application routine. Before you begin, you'll need to contact the school or schools in which you are interested and ask for a scholarship packet. This packet should include any forms and deadlines that pertain to each one that is available.
- Sell Yourself-Because you will be competing against many worthy applicants, you must do a good job of selling yourself to get these opportunities. Most review committees require a substantial amount of documentation, and some also require a personal interview as well. You will probably have to submit examples of written work, certificates of achievements, personal recommendations, and any awards you may have received. You'll also need to submit a copy of your school transcript as well as any academic achievement test scores.
- Essays-Some scholarship committees require their applicants write an essay on a particular topic. Be sure you research the topic thoroughly and pay attention to the required minimum and maximum word count. Unless otherwise instructed, try to inject a personal note into your essay. Start it with an attention-getting paragraph. Keep your ideas clear and concise. Once you've completed your essay, reread it several times, looking for mistakes, including grammar errors and misspelled words. Have someone else read it as well. As you proofread, be sure you've responded to the topic clearly and thoroughly.
- Interviews-If you are required to participate in a personal interview for the scholarship, dress nicely and try to remain relaxed. Don't be afraid to let your personality show, but conduct yourself in a polite and respectful manner. The whole point of an interview is for the review committee to get to know you.
- Deadlines-Finally, before you mail your application, be sure you have answered every question and included all of the requested information. Pay special attention to the deadlines you have been given. In most cases, applications received after the deadline has passed will not even be considered.