These days, it's easy to find information about college scholarships. The Internet, school counselors, community and religious centers, and libraries offer information about money for college study. Use these guidelines to find college scholarships for high school students.
When it comes to locating money for college, you'll need to research as many sources as possible. One place to start is websites such as Scholarship and CollegeProwler. These sites present scholarships based on area of study, school, interests, state, and other factors. They also provide helpful information for writing essays and receiving money even if you're not a stellar student. You can also check out FinAid, a source for offbeat or unusual scholarships. Examples include funding for students who are left-handed or taller than average.
Next, ask high school officials for help based on your background and extracurricular activities. In addition to just your school counselors, your sports coaches, art teachers, debate leaders, and choir directors all receive funding information from colleges. If you are a member of a key club, group, or choir, you may be eligible for money through those national organizations.
In addition, meet with a financial aid officer at the school you plan on attending. This person's job is to assist students in finding scholarship and loan money. They have an intimate knowledge of what's available and what you are eligible for.
Finally, tap into your parent's workplace, social organization, or alma mater. With a little digging, you'll find that scholarship money is available in unexpected places.
Other sources are ethnic and religious organizations. Groups such as the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Jewish Federation, United Negro College Fund, American Indian College Fund, and Center for Global Understanding are great options. Search online for organizations matching your background and inquire at your local worship center.
The Reserve Officer Training Corps offers scholarships for students to study at various colleges and universities. There are opportunities within the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. In addition to tuition, the funding often covers books, fees, and spending money. In exchange, students join the armed forces for several years depending on area of study.
In addition, scholarship money is available to winners of essay contests. The American Foreign Service, Ayn Rand Institute, Bird Dog Foundation, Mensa, Holocaust Remebrance Project, American Fire Sprinkler Association, Gaia Community, and Civil Rights Legal Defense Fund all sponsor essay contests on topics of historical and social significance. To find out about essay scholarship contests, visit the website ScholarshipHunter.
When applying for scholarships, pay close attention to required paperwork and deadlines. Each scholarship has different criteria and submission timeline, so it's easy to confuse the details. Buy a calendar and schedule exactly when documents are due. Don't lose out on money because you missed an important date!
Because scholarships are highly competitive, present yourself in a way that stands out. In your personal essay, emphasize your unique education and personal strengths. Most students highlight their grades and extracurricular activities, but you'll make a bigger impact if you present how you overcame a challenge or learned something unexpected.