Education is important as it can be a gateway to a bright future. Unfortunately, higher education is not free, and in fact, can be quite pricey at some college institutions. Some students may not be able to afford to go to college due to lack of finances, but the good news is that there are scholarships available that can help.

Academic scholarships enable financially challenged students to access a wonderful college education. The beauty of scholarships is that they are applicable to a variety of students. Some focus on grades, but others focus on things like athletics, arts, school politics, among other extra curriculum activities.

There are a variety of scholarships available. There are schools that provide scholarships for top performing students in different areas as well as some from private providers, non-governmental organizations, religious groups, and the government. Each of these scholarship providers have their own sets of requirements.

 

Do’s when applying for a scholarship

Do thorough research

Do thorough research on all types of scholarships available online. Students need to compare all the scholarships and know which one is suitable for them. There are various scholarships based on different things. Take ethnicity, for example. Some scholarships may be crafted for the Latino or African-American communities. If you fall into such a category, your chances of getting the scholarship are much greater. Another example is gender, as some scholarships are geared toward only one. Some technical institutions want to bring some women into the technical field, so they make their scholarship only for women. One can also be based on the state, religion, or country, as some providers give preference to students in their own locality. There are also scholarships that are based on particular majors like business majors, engineering, etc.

 

The little guy

The well-known scholarship sponsors have high competition, so your chances of getting the scholarship are quite low. Keep in mind the little guys when doing your scholarship research. There are sponsors who are not as well known, but provide an equally as good scholarship. You’re chances of getting such a scholarship are much greater than if you went solely with the big guns.

 

Apply early

Apply for scholarships early enough, as they have deadlines. You don’t want to miss out on a scholarship due to procrastinating. Get organized and never miss any deadline.

 

Letter of recommendation

A letter of recommendation may do wonders for you. Ensure the person writing the recommendation is well-qualified and knows you well. Let them emphasize your key strengths and potential. This could come from a teacher, employer, athletic coach, principal, and so on.

 

Personalized application 

Modify your application to fit the sponsor’s objectives. Write a passionate and interesting essay that will stand out. Give examples of your achievements. Always double check your essay for any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes.

 

Apply only if you qualify

Read instructions and requirements keenly and only apply if you meet them.

 

Follow instructions and be neat

Pay attention to details and follow the instructions carefully. Provide only the mentioned requirements and nothing else. Be tidy and organized. Ensure you complete the application as instructed.

 

Don’ts When Applying for a Scholarship

Do not ignore smaller rewards/ essay contest

Never disregard scholarships with lower rewards. There is normally less competition there and your chances of winning are higher. Students avoid scholarships that require an application. Simply write the essay and give it your best shot.

 

No additional documents

Never provide additional documents unless you are asked.

 

Don’t limit your applications

Don’t limit your scholarship applications and stop with just a few.  You cannot assume that you will get one, so apply for as many as possible. With every additional scholarship you apply for, that is one more that you have a chance of winning.

 

Never ignore local scholarships

Do not ignore scholarships offered in your hometown. Because these scholarships are only offered to a very specific area, there will be many less applicants.

 

Always make several copies of your application and write your name on every document so that it can easily be located in case they are separated. In case of misplacement or loss, you can easily produce a copy. Remove any unsuitable content from your online accounts and social media. Never pay any fee, as scholarships are always free. Remember, the more scholarships you apply for, the greater chances you have of getting at least one.