With the ever-increasing cost of education nowadays, it can be challenging to find means to pay for one’s tuition. However, there are thousands of scholarships available for anyone seeking financial educational aid. These scholarships come from sponsors who extend forms of aid that help students pay for their tuition and other expenses without requiring them to be paid back. Here's how to find scholarships and how to know what scholarships are available.
- Scholarships are available for different levels. There are undergraduate scholarships for students who are pursuing their first degree. There are postgraduate fellowships for those who are pursuing higher studies. Doctoral degrees or Ph.D. Scholarships are likewise available for those looking to secure degrees beyond the a Master’s degree. Even some non-degree scholarships are offered for opportunities such as summer school or academic competitions.
- Generally speaking, scholarships are awarded to students with special qualifications such as academic merit, athletic excellence, and artistic talent. Scholarship money is likewise awarded to other qualified students such as those pursuing a particular field of study, or who are members of under-represented groups, and those with a demographic profile necessitating financial assistance.
- There are various ways of finding a scholarship, one of which is through your school’s financial aid office. They have access to information regarding specific scholarships you can apply for. They can even provide you with informational materials such as brochures and, if possible, facilitate the processing of your application.
- Another way to search for scholarships is to use an online personalized search which will compare your background with a database of scholarship availabilities. After entering your data, the system then generates a list of scholarships that fit your profile. One of the best online resources is FastWeb (www.fastweb.com), the largest, most accurate and most frequently updated scholarship database. It is a very powerful tool that expedites the scholarship search process. It further assists you in your scholarship application by allowing you to electronically submit application forms to some of the scholarship foundations that allow online application.
- Aside from using the FastWeb scholarship database, there are also other free scholarship sites. They are very practical, as not only are they readily accessible, the best part is that they are free. Some scholarships searches will require a payment of fees, but these are not likely to give you better results than the free sponsorship search sites. You may also want to be on the lookout for notices and advertisements on scholarship awards which are often posted on different schools' bulletin boards, financial aid offices, guidance offices, the newspaper, educational magazines, and the public library. You may also want to head over to your local bookstore to get a copy of a scholarship reference book to help you in your scholarship search. A good reference book will help you understand more how financial aid programs work, provide a list of available scholarship sources, and guide you on how to make a good impression on your scholarship applications.
- When you’ve found several scholarships you can apply for, send your application the soonest possible. Do not wait for the deadline. Submitting your application earlier allows you lead time for the processing of your forms and gives you leeway, should additional documents be required.
In completing your scholarship application, remember to put your best foot forward. Make sure that your forms are properly filled out, your information is correct, and your application essay is well-thought out. In case you need help, there are many sources on the web that can provide you templates and tips on how to write an impressive application essay.
Searching for scholarships and applying for them is a tedious task, but by knowing the right tools to use, the process can be a breeze and less daunting. All it takes is patience and soon, you will be on your way to enjoying the benefits of having secured a financially-aided education.