The best way to fund your college education is through scholarships. You should look at scholarships before searching for Best Private Student Loan Lenders (Our Top 7 Picks of 2019). There are a lot of scholarship options available if you know the right way to apply:
Here’s how you should be applying for scholarships to improve your chances of qualifying:
Start looking for scholarship options as early as thirteen years of age. Sign up to scholarship programs like Scholarships.com, FastWeb, ConnectNet, etc. These programs will give you list of the best scholarship programs for you.
You should start collecting points and look at your scholarship programs. The earlier you start applying for scholarships, the better your chances of succeeding in getting one.
Put all your documents in one folder even before you start filling out your applications. Don’t wait for the last moment. You won’t be missing any deadlines that way. Plus, it will save you a lot of stress.
Some documents you would be required to submit are
- High School Transcripts;
- Standardized Test Scores;
- Parent’s Financial Information;
- Financial Aid Forms;
- Scholarship Application Essay;
- Recommendations Letter.
The best place is to start is scholarship websites online. You can also find out if your preferred college offers any scholarship and what are their requirement. Talk to your school counselor about scholarship options in your area.
Look at the requirements of scholarships. Many would require volunteer work and community services. Request information from a few programs. Complete all documents. Fill out application forms. Don’t forget to submit all applications before the deadline. You might want to set up deadline reminders on your phone to avoid last-minute goof-ups.
Don’t make any mistakes. Proofread all your documents. Ask a friend or your parents to proofread them for you. And this goes without saying, but be honest in your form.
Also, make sure you put in all the information in the form. Don’t leave out anything. This makes a good impression on your review board when they see you have provided them all document.
Most scholarship programs require you to submit an essay explaining why you should be preferred for the scholarship. A good essay improves your chances of getting the loan. Talk to your mentor or school counselor for help with writing your essay.
Start with an outline and a draft. What are you going to include in your essay? Look at the question being asked. What’s the theme of the essay? Think of the best answer, and try to make it personal.
The beginning of your essay should engage with the reader. Try to weave in your achievements and your leadership qualities within the theme of your essay. Talk about how you have helped the community and how to plan to adding value to the community in the future.
Make sure your essay is typewritten or if a handwritten essay is required, it should be legible. Look for spelling and grammar mistakes. Get it proofread. You should also ask your mentor to have a go-through of the essay.
You will most likely be asked to submit two recommendation letters. This would be from your academic teacher (for the subject you are applying for) and your school counselor. Submit a formal request to them and give them 15-20 days of time to write your recommendation letter. Remember, a lot of other students will be requesting a recommendation letter so submitting your request earlier will give a better advantage of securing a well-written letter on time.
In your request letter, don’t forget to give all your details. You don’t expect your teachers to remember all names and details. Give them your full name, address, email and phone number. Also, include information about your academic performance and major achievements.
You might have to send a reminder to your recommenders. Be sure to write a thank you letter after you receive your recommendation letter.
Before submitting the application, make copies of all documents and forms. This way if the package is lost, you can depend on the copies to save you precious time and stress. For online application, keep copies in your computer or hard drive.
Go back to the terms of the your scholarship application and find out how you are supposed to submit the application. Follow the guidelines to the T. Scholarship programs get thousands of applications. They won’t spend any time tracking your package if it gets lost.
Also, before submitting any application make sure everything is in place and presentable. That’s going to win you points.
Also Read, STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO PASS YOUR EXAMS
Good luck in applying for a scholarship program. Apply for at least three programs to improve your chances of getting the scholarship.