Lowering the cost of education is the dream of every student — and their family. This goal can be achieved through financial aid or student loans, but there’s a better option worth considering: scholarships.
Scholarships are the perfect way to reduce higher education costs, and some are available even as early as high school. However, they don’t come for free. You must prove you are worthy of the scholarship and pass the screening process. Below is a guide to help you score one.
1. Don’t Procrastinate
It’s common to think that the future is still far away, but time can pass quickly. If you don’t prepare for your education and apply for scholarships, you may lose the chance altogether. Don’t waste time waiting for opportunities; start looking for scholarships available for high school juniors and seniors as early as possible.
Some programs accept early applications from interested high school juniors and seniors so you can start with them. By taking advantage of these programs and starting early, you have better chances of getting the scholarship money you need.
2. Look For Various Types Of Scholarships
Most students think scholarships are limited to the academically gifted or those with exceptional art, music, or athletic talents. While this may be true, plenty of other awards are available if you know where to look.
While in high school, you should take your time and look into scholarship options with minimal selection criteria. You can start your search online and find scholarships for niche talents, hobbies, and interests, often sponsored by private institutions.
3. Live Life While Thinking Ahead
Scholarships are not something you can approach spontaneously. They call for time and a significant amount of effort. If winning these awards is on your plan, you should make strategic decisions about scheduling your high school activities.
For most scholarship programs, you will be evaluated on academic performance as well as how well-rounded you are as an individual. So, you should not only focus on your grades. You should also show your interests — the exact extracurricular activities are up to you.
4. Make A List Of Opportunities You Can Take
Now that you’re more serious about your plans for scholarships, it’s time to make a list. Consider the scholarship opportunities that fit you the best and organize them by their deadlines.
If unsure where to begin, you can approach your high school counselor, check the colleges you are eyeing or search through various scholarship websites.
5. Prepare Scholarship Materials
Be prepared to provide your basic information and documents like transcripts, personal statements, essay templates, proof of extracurricular activities, certificates of achievements, recommendations, and standardized test scores.
Having all this paperwork ready will make your application process a breeze. The only thing you have to consider are additional requirements based on various scholarship providers.
6. Fill Out Applications
The last step will be to fill out the scholarship applications. This can be done online, but some institutions still prefer to receive hard copies. Either way, applications are straightforward, but they can also take some time to complete.
Before applying, check everything to ensure you have not skipped or forgotten certain parts. Proofread everything you write and have others go over the documents, too.
To complete your education, you shouldn’t waste the opportunity to land a scholarship. This brief guide can help you start the search, so don’t waste time and start your preparation today. If you need tips on how to apply for multiple scholarships at once, we have that too.
For more information on scholarships and college education, explore our free resources at Go Degree!