The high cost of a college education means that a lot of students are looking for financial aid to help pay for it. But the competition can be stiff.
According to the most recent National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, only 5.5 percent of undergraduate students received non-athletic scholarships. What can students do to give themselves the best chance of receiving some much-needed scholarship money?
“Start your search and application process as early as possible,” says Tiffany Turner, Program Manager at International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc., who manages 30 scholarship programs including Foresters™ Competitive Scholarship Program. “Give yourself plenty of time to find scholarships that fit your skills and needs. And most applications will require essays and letters of recommendation, so you want to make sure you have plenty of time to pull those together.”
Turner also encourages students to apply for as many scholarships as they qualify for. “There aren’t a lot of big, full-ride scholarships available, but many smaller scholarships can add up to a surprising amount.”
The Scholarship Application
When applying for scholarships, attention to detail is an important step to success:
· Follow directions carefully. Make sure you have all the supporting materials required, but don’t include anything that is not requested.
· Fill out the entire application. Don’t skip any questions. If one doesn’t apply to you, make a note of that on the application. If you’re not sure how to answer, you can contact the scholarship coordinator.
· Proofread carefully. Typos and grammar errors can hurt your chances. Have a parent or teacher double-check your application.
· Watch all deadlines. Set up a calendar for application deadlines and make sure you meet them. If you miss one, your application won’t be considered.
Many scholarship applications require some kind of written essay or letter.
· Be specific. Focus on the topics the application requires. Use concrete examples rather than vague, general statements.
· Be yourself. This is your chance to show scholarship providers what kind of person you are and why they should help pay for your education. Let your personality come through, and include details that reveal who you really are.
· Be honest. Never exaggerate grades, skills or experience. If you find yourself feeling the need to do so, you’re probably not applying for the right scholarship.
Volunteering and community involvement plays a big role in awarding today’s scholarships. “More and more scholarship providers are looking for well-rounded students who not only take their studies seriously, but also have a long-term commitment to their local communities,” said Turner.
“Do some research on the organization providing the scholarships,” Turner said. “You may find that successful applicants have volunteered more than the minimum, and that can make a difference in their award decisions.”
Finding and applying for scholarships is a big process. But, when done right, it can help you achieve your goal of going to college.
The scholarship program is open to entering freshmen only residing in the Quad Cities area. Applications are available from area high school counselors, online at http://lulac10.org/ or LULAC Scholarship Committee Chairman Matthew Casillas 563-381-7807.
The deadline for submitting the applications is March 31, 2013 with no exceptions. Submit all applications to: LULAC Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 4616, Davenport, IA52808-4616.
Scholarship awards are based on grades and academic performance; however, emphasis may be placed on the individual’s motivation, sincerity, and integrity, which can best be revealed through a personal essay. Need, community involvement, and leadership activities will also be considered. Students can go to the LULAC Council #10
The Scholarship committee will host an informational meeting re: the scholarship application process and answer questions at LULAC Hall 4224 Ricker RdDavenport, IA52804 on March 9, 2013 from 10:00 am – 12:00pm.
Illinois Dream Fund Scholarship
Apply Now! the deadline for Illinois Dream Fund for Undocumented Students is fast approaching:
Applications must be sent by mail to:
Illinois Dream Fund Scholarship,
191 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 3700,
Now accepting scholarship applications for the 2013-2014 academic year! Deadline for entry is March 1, 2013 11:59 pm EST. Finalists will be announced on April 26, 2012. For more information visit our FAQs section or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.