Dying to get into the college of your dreams, but know you can only afford tuition if you get a scholarship? While there is a lot of competition out there for college scholarships, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of being the chosen one. Follow these tips for moving that scholarship within your reach.
1. Look for local scholarships first – these are often your best shot at being awarded the scholarship. The biggest perk of applying for local scholarships is that there’s a smaller pool of applicants, which increases your odds of getting chosen. Check out local businesses, including banks, clubs, organizations, churches and grocery stores, to see if they’re offering any type of college scholarship. “Local” doesn’t have to just be in your town, though. Some local scholarships cater to a county or a state, or even to a specific school, too.
2. Put together a neat, easy-to-decipher scholarship package. First of all, having an error-free scholarship package shows professionalism, seriousness and a dedication to the scholarship. Secondly, if the person who receives the application can’t make heads or tails of your paperwork, the chances of you being awarded the scholarship are slim. Also, don’t just mail the package in standard mail. Send it either certified or via FedEx so you know it’ll get there on time. Lastly, it should go without saying that you should send the package to the right recipient. It’ll look terrible if you can’t take the time to send the scholarship application to the right office, making it harder on whoever’s offering the scholarship.
3. If you start preparing early enough for college, your scholarship applications will be rich. Participate in after school activities and club. Get on a sports team. Maintain a high GPA and take extra classes, if possible. All of these components will make a great scholarship application, increases your chances of getting the extra money for college.
What if you simply didn’t participate in activities throughout high school, though? You’re probably applying for colleges and scholarships during your junior year, which means there’s still time. It’s not uncommon for students to be unmotivated at the beginning of high school and then start picking up steam as they get older. If you showcase that you’re now ready to be active and responsible, it’s better than not having anything on your application at all.
Hayley Granton is a freelance educational blogger covering Arizona colleges and colleges in Mesa, AZ.
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