When it comes to finding and obtaining undergraduate scholarships and grants for your education, the most important quality you can have is persistence. Almost every high school senior is going to be applying for scholarships and grants. Chances are a number of students will be applying to the same schools that you are. That is why you need to keep on searching and applying. You need to find the ones that fit you and your qualifications. That way, when you apply, you are at the top of the application pile and have a better chance of winning. If you apply to a scholarship simply because they offer money, but you don't necessarily fit the qualifications they are looking for, you are wasting time you could have used applying for ones that were a better fit.
It is also important that you use the proper resources. Talk to your high school counselor or the university you plan on attending. This is particularly important when you are applying for grants. These individuals are trained and well-versed in the language of financial aid and they can point you in the right direction and even provide you with great opportunities that fit your qualifications and specific skill set.
You can also use websites such as Fastweb.com, Collegeboard.com, and Scholarships.com. They also make it extremely easy to narrow down scholarships, so you can find ones that are the most suitable. For example, Fastweb requires that you fill out a profile, detailing your hobbies, extracurricular activities, career aspirations, and a number of other fields. By entering in this information, it selects scholarships that apply to you. This helps you to simplify the searching process, but also provides you with reliable scholarship opportunities.
When applying for scholarships and grants that are essay-based, it is extremely important that you educate yourself on how to write an essay properly. While you may consider yourself a great writer, these judges are looking for specific things. Only by reading up on what exactly they are looking for can you hope to have a chance to win the financial assistance they are offering. You can buy these preparation books from any major bookstore. If not, there are a number of different guides you can find online.
When it comes to applying for Federal aid, it is absolutely necessary you fill out the FAFSA form. The FAFSA form is what you will use to see if you qualify for the Pell grant, and any other federal grant or loan. The FAFSA form will identify whether or not you are in need of financial aid, based on your's and your family's income. You will also need the FAFSA form to find out whether or not you qualify for need-based scholarships at your intended university. To fill out this form, go to FAFSA.com. However, you will need to speak with your university beforehand because some will have specific deadlines. After you've filled out the FAFSA form and submitted it to your school, they will notify you of your financial aid package.