Student Life

How To: Start Your Scholarship Search

Get to know the scholarship search a little better before you start.

Kayla Hankins

December 13, 2019

How To: Start Your Scholarship Search
As fall comes to a close and the wonderland of winter begins, many high school seniors have focused on a number of schools to apply to in order to complete the college application process. One component of the application process that catches the attention of almost every prospective student and parent has to do with the thing that makes the world go around: money. The price of tuition can prompt the raising of eyebrows, concerned faces, and questions such as, “Where will we get this money from?” The answer lies in scholarships. Scholarship searches are a great way to find programs, contests, and essays that will provide money to cover some or even all of a student’s college tuition.

Types of Scholarships

When most people hear the term “college scholarship”, there is a common misconception that scholarships are only given to students who achieve the highest grades in their school or are the next big time athlete. However, there are scholarships for every type of student, including students who are women, minorities, LGBTQ+, and descendants of various individuals. Some scholarships celebrate students associated with the arts, and others are miscellaneous and enjoyable to complete. The possibilities are endless regarding a student’s eligibility for a scholarship program. Prominent companies, foundations, and figures provide scholarship options as well.

How to Apply

Due to the diversity of the scholarship choices, each scholarship differs from the previous one. Essays or writing prompts in a scholarship application allows the student to describe themselves and their interests in a fashion that wholly encompasses the individual’s true self. When writing, the applicant must make sure he or she does not stray away from the topic at hand. The applicant should depict themselves in a truthful and distinguished manner rather than bragging about their accomplishments in a condescending manner. Another possible component of a scholarship application is a resume. A great resume can speak for the applicant by effectively listing their experiences, activities, skills, and honors. Because each scholarship may focus on a particular aspect of an applicant’s life, the applicant can copy and fix an original resume in order to tailor it to satisfy the focus. A few scholarship foundations and programs utilize interviews in their decision process, so the interviewee should be prepared and established by the time of the interview. The scholarship application process can help a student afford the college of their dreams. It would help a student and their family to get a head start on applying for scholarships so there is a larger possibility in receiving the necessary financial aid. Upon receiving a letter of acceptance from a college, scholarships can then be used to cover the costs of tuition, fees, board, books, and other college necessities.

Where to Find Scholarships

There are many places to find scholarships that have various components that will relate best to the student. Scholarship search engines are a great resource to find the correct scholarship choice. For example, Fastweb, the site you are on right now, has a search engine for scholarships and many more aspects relating to college. Fastweb and other search engines provide deadlines and valuable information about the scholarship and mentions other scholarships opportunities related to the original search. These sites also allow students to undergo a matching process, wherein information about the students is used to generate and propose appropriate scholarships to the student. Another good source to find college scholarship opportunities are scholarship books, such as The Ultimate Scholarship Book. These books categorize the scholarships that apply for the upcoming year. High schools also do a big part in pushing students to reach out for scholarship opportunities. School counselors and other members of the administration possess a large amount of resources to aid students with choosing a scholarship. Also, the colleges a prospective student wants to apply to may have scholarship opportunities available. In order to find any of the scholarships as a student or parent, research must be conducted because many scholarships are present in the aforesaid sources.

Takeaway

Scholarships are very helpful for students and families when deciding a plan for the financial portion of college, and taking the time to fully research scholarship opportunities is vital. If a student participates in more scholarships, there is a greater chance of gaining more money to fund the student’s education. It is a great decision to further one’s education through the journey and completion of college and taking the steps to fulfill a great education include scholarship searches, which will support a student throughout their career as a college student.

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