As the cost of college tuition has been increasing annually, more and more students are seeking for scholarship opportunities to fund their education. However, you need to put in much effort and attention to be able to land a scholarship. The competition for getting the best scholarship opportunities has become tougher than ever before
If you want to know how to get a scholarship for college, here are some steps that we suggest:
1. Decide upon your interest areas
Most of the scholarship opportunities are created by donors with the aim of giving the right candidates the right chances. So if you are applying for a scholarship, ensure that you will use it in the subjects you are interested in. With many other candidates applying for the same scholarship opportunities, some extra knowledge and skills in the area of your expertise will certainly increase your chances of getting it.
2. Search and inquire
Your first step towards a scholarship is a proper Google search for the potential scholarship opportunities. You may need to spend countless hours on the web to ensure that you have the right and important information that will help you in your application.
There are several websites that continually update their website with news and information about scholarship opportunities (like Fastweb and Zinch), which is very helpful in your pursuit. You may also need to inquire with several colleges and universities to know their schemes too. Also inquire with your college guidance counselor and administration about the potential scholarship opportunities available. Start your research at least 6 months in advance before the new school year starts.
3. Know the scholarship requirements
Colleges and universities often put very stringent requirements to ensure that the student receiving the scholarship does indeed deserve it. Often times, academically inclined students who came from disadvantaged backgrounds are chosen to be the recipients of the different scholarships. Aside from the academic requirements, colleges also focus on the student’s non-curricular/social activities and disciplinary records. So you must ensure that you meet the set requirements. Otherwise, your application will probably end up in the dump. If you are not sure about the requirements give the college a call or you can check their websites.
4. Prepare all the necessary documents
Below are some of the most common documents required by colleges when applying for scholarships. Make sure that you have them all before applying for scholarships.
- Examination Report Cards
- Financial Aid Forms
- Financial Information and tax returns
- Scholarship Forms
- Statement of Purpose/ Essays
- Recommendation letters
- Proof of Eligibility
5. Prepare a good application letter
Make sure that your application letter is short and to the point. With hundreds of letters to read every day, your letter can very much go unnoticed if you write a full page or more over-blowing your achievements. Also ensure that your letter is in a clean and neat format. Be sure to state in the letter about why you think you deserve the scholarship. Some colleges also require students to write essays. Make sure that your letter and essays are proofread and are grammatically correct. Many colleges lately allow online submission of application letters, while others may ask for postal submissions. So take the time to know in advance how should you send in your essay or application letter.
6. Patiently follow up/keep looking for other opportunities
After you have sent your application letter, you have to be patient. Remember, you may or may not receive the scholarship. On the other hand, do not become annoying by calling and following up on your scholarship application every minute of the day. Most colleges handle scholarship applications very responsibly, and although it may take some time, you will definitely get a reply. On the other hand, don’t pin your hopes on a single application. Send your applications to many colleges and be open to other opportunities as well.
7. Don’t forget to thank your donors
Whatever scholarship opportunity you may receive from your donors, do send a message or go visit them if you can. Let them know that you are thankful for choosing you as the recipient and how much the scholarship mean to you.