Your Proactive Scholarship Search Can Yield Important Dividends

Your Proactive Scholarship Search Can Yield Important Dividends


Your high school years have been a success and just months from now you’ll be taking your final walk through the hallowed halls of your school. It will be a bittersweet moment as you mark an important educational milestone and say good-bye to your friends as everyone scatters for colleges across the country, perhaps even overseas.

Well before graduation you will have applied to several schools and, if your grades and test scores are very good, you would have received multiple acceptances from a wide variety of colleges. Should you go to State? Can you afford Stanford, Princeton, or Duke? How much financial assistance is your family able to offer? Will you be saddled by student loans after obtaining your bachelor’s degree?

Some families simply cannot afford the tuition and expenses of a private school, but that doesn’t mean you cannot go to the school of your choice. Thanks to millions of scholarships offered every year, you may be able to attend most any school if you are a scholarship recipient. Before you win a scholarship, you must apply for one — let’s take a look at how you can search scholarships and what you must do in order to apply.

Launch Your Scholarship Search Today

If you are a high school senior, then launching your scholarship search today is important as there are several steps you must take before applying. Time is of the essence; a delay could cause you to miss an important deadline.

There are three scholarship basics to keep in mind:

Your eligibility – most college scholarships come with restrictions and are aimed at one or more of the following types of candidates: college freshmen, need based students, ethnic minorities, military personnel, high academic performers, and more.

Your major – declaring a major before going to school has its advantages particularly where major-specific scholarships are awarded. More than 500 majors are covered therefore you should find enough choices for your specific area of study.

Your college – if you have your heart set on the University of Texas, on Marquette or Brigham Young, or some other school, some scholarships are specific to those institutions. More than 4,000 scholarships are tied in with particular colleges and universities with multiple awards granted each academic year.

Apply For Several Scholarships

Once your eligibility requirements have been satisfied, you can begin the application process. Apply for as many scholarships as eligible, but keep in mind one important thing: your essay will go a long way to determining whether you are awarded a scholarship or not. Therefore, expect to spend a considerable amount of time on developing a well written essay; use family members, friends, and your guidance counselor as people who will critique your work. Some students turn to essay editors to help them out too.

Application packets are sent to applicants upon request, therefore you must be proactive in the process. Getting the application, filling it out accurately and legibly, writing a top notch essay, and sending everything off in a timely manner are essential steps in the process. Repeating these steps with each subsequent scholarship application will increase the likelihood that you will be awarded a scholarship. Use a tally sheet [free download] to track all of the legwork you will be doing to help organize what will seem like a time consuming project. Guess what? It is!

The Pay Off

Although there is no guarantee that you will win one or more scholarships, you can work these odds to your favor by being proactive in your scholarship quest. The pay off for all of your hard work can spell the difference between you attending School Choice A or School Choice B, a responsibility that falls squarely in your lap.


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Categories: College Planning

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".