How Much Time During High School Should You Spend Applying For College Scholarships
There are plenty of scholarships for high school seniors and juniors. The more applications you fill out, the better chance you have of winning some free money for college. Most awards have fall deadlines between August and November or spring deadlines between January and May.
As a high school student, its a good idea to plan on spending an hour each week to find and apply for scholarships. Remember that the time each application takes will vary. It may only take a few minutes to apply for a smaller award worth a few hundred dollars. For a full-ride scholarship, you might need to spend hours on the application.
Ways To Stand Out When Applying For Scholarships
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When it comes to scholarship opportunities for college, everyone is applying for the same reason: to receive the scholarship money to help pay tuition costs. Depending on the scholarship youre applying for, you may be one out of hundreds of applicants. Many students are joining the scholarship search to look for ways to pay for college besides taking out student loans, but what do scholarships look for? You may be wondering what makes you stand out from every other scholarship applicant. Here are 10 ways to do just that.
Applying For Scholarships Is Worth Your Time
Scholarships remain one of the best ways to pay for college without taking on debt, working a full-time job while in school, or begging your parents for money.
You now have all the information you need to find and apply for scholarships like its your job, so start applying today!
For more information on how to pay for college, check out these resources:
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Outside Scholarships And College Financial Aid
If all the aid you receive outside scholarships, financial aid from your college, and government grants and loans ends up being $300 or more above your calculated need, the federal government requires your college to reduce the amount of need-based financial aid it awards you.
If you dont report your outside scholarship awards to your colleges financial aid office, you might receive whats called an overaward and youll have to pay back that money.
How Do I Know If I’ve Won A Scholarship
Someone from the scholarship committee should contact you directly via phone or email by a specific date so it’s essential to make yourself as available as possible as that time draws closer. The funds will then be sent to you or the school you will be attending during the next semester. If someone from a third-party organization claims they need personal information to complete the award process, it could be a scam get as much information about the solicitor as possible without divulging your details and contact the scholarship provider directly to determine your next step.
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What Is A Student Loan
A student loan is a type of financial aid that is borrowed from the government or a private entity, to help pay for education and related costs. Student loans may be put towards tuition, books, supplies, room and board, and other fees. All student loans must be repaid, along with any interest that accrues over time.
Find Scholarships Related To Your Talents And Hobbies
How would you like to get paid for something you already do anyway? This is the essence of scholarships related to your talents and hobbies.
For instance, I got a music scholarship that paid $1,000 each year, plus free lessons. I had to prepare a piece and travel to the college for an audition. But the pay-off was definitely worth it, especially considering that I would have taken lessons and played music in college regardless.
The classic example, of course, is sports scholarships. If youre good enough at a sport to get paid to play it in college, you probably have recruiters contacting you already.
But I will include one lesser-known piece of advice: your odds of getting a sports scholarship are better if you play a more obscure sport.
For instance, my dad has a friend whose son has gotten letters from colleges based on his skeet shooting abilities. So if you play a less common sport, be sure to check if any colleges offer scholarships for it.
Also, know that the definition of sports is constantly changing to incorporate new activities. Tony, our video editor, got an eSports scholarship one of the first in the country. At the college he attended, it was possible to get thousands of dollars for being a certain rank in eSports such as Dota and League of Legends.
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Know Your Scholarship Deadlines
When I was applying to college, I came across a large scholarship that required a 1,500-word essay. There was just one problem: the scholarship application was due by midnight of that day.
I frantically banged out an essay and submitted it at the very last minute . Unsurprisingly, I didnt get the scholarship.
Learn from my mistake. Dont miss out on a scholarship just because youre unaware of the application deadline.
Whenever you find a scholarship you want to apply for, put the application deadline on your calendar. This way, youll never miss out just because you forgot when the application was due.
Know The Scholarships Your College Offers
Once you have a list of colleges you want to apply for, look at each schools website to see all the scholarships they offer. Again, its best to do this during the application process. This will ensure two things:
Youll be eligible for some scholarships based on your transcript and other stats you submit when you apply .
Other scholarships that your college offers, however, may require you to write additional essays or even complete an interview or audition. If this is the case, its best to know far in advance so you can arrange your travel plans and get time off of school .
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Can I Win Multiple Scholarships
Yes, but typically not from the same scholarship provider during the same award year. If you’re applying to more than one scholarship, be sure to keep your applications organized. Sending the wrong materials to the wrong scholarship committee can guarantee you won’t be receiving those funds for college.
Dont Rule Out Small Scholarships
Its tempting to only apply for scholarships in the tens of thousands of dollars. After all, the potential pay-off is higher, so why should you waste your time on small scholarships worth only $1,000 or $500?
There are some cases where this can be true. For instance, spending 25 hours on a $100 scholarship is a waste of time .
Most of the time, however, even a $100 scholarship might take only a few hours to apply for. And if you make a habit of applying for scholarships every day, those $100 or $500 scholarships can start to add up.
Before you know it, you may have paid your tuition with a bunch of scholarships that seemed small on their own.
Unless you have a job that pays hundreds of dollars an hour, few scholarships are too small to spend time applying for.
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How Do I Apply For The Excelsior Scholarship And When Will It Be Available
In addition to your FAFSA and TAP applications, students will also need to file an Excelsior Scholarship application. The application for the 2018-19 academic year is scheduled to open Monday, March 26 and will close on Monday, July 23, 2018. The application will be available on the HESC website at www.hesc.ny.gov. If you are already a recipient of an Excelsior Scholarship from a previous application period, you do not need to complete this application. You are a recipient if you signed and submitted the Excelsior Scholarship contract, even if you did not receive payment in the prior year.
This application is for students looking to receive a first-time award for the 2018-19 academic year.
Start Your Scholarship Applications Early
Just as your college or graduate program application starts long before you send in your personal statement and transcripts , your chances of getting scholarships will be greater if you start thinking about what would make you a desirable applicant as early as possiblewhether thats while youre still in your senior year of high school or undergraduate studies.
Different scholarships will take into account a variety of factors, but youll generally set yourself up for success by getting good grades, participating in extracurricular activities, and building relationships with teachers, professors, and other people who can speak favorably on your behalf.
In addition, many scholarships will require a written submissionso dont shirk your writing classes. Your skills in writing quickly and efficiently will be useful when completing multiple essays both for your school applications as well as the scholarships.
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Athletic Scholarships During Covid
Its clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on college sports. Not only have sports seasons been delayed and altered, but more than 300 sports programs across the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA have been cut. While we need more data from college coaches and sports programs to fully analyze the effects of COVID-19 on current and future athletic scholarships, its likely that there will be at least a slight decrease in athletic scholarship availability in the near future. With that said, there are still things student-athletes can do to stay ahead of the pack and improve their chances of earning a scholarship.
Example Essay Prompt Question #1
Is it fair that professional athletes earn millions of dollars?
Typical boring answer: No way! We should be paying that money to teachers and firefighters. Athletes are just playing a game.
Whats wrong with this answer? You could find this opinion in the Letters to the Editor section of any newspaper. It doesnt matter if the answer is right it plays everything safe and is BORING.
Better answer: Salaries arent decided by fairness. Theyre decided by supply and demand. LeBron James is a millionaire because millions of fans pay to see him perform. Besides, if the athletes werent getting the money, the owners would. Those are the only two options.
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Who Gives Out Athletic Scholarships
Are full ride scholarships for all 4 years? No, athletic scholarships are typically one-year agreements between the college and the athlete, although some are multi-year. They are offered at the NCAA D1 and D2 levels, as well as at the NAIA and NJCAA levelscombined, thats thousands of schools.
Learn about the different division levels. For more on athletic scholarships, hear what former fifth-round MLB draft pick Kyle Winters has to say: Are athletic scholarships offered one year at a time or do they vary? Check out the video to see how prospective student-athletes may find their scholarship offer change from year to year.
Next: Write Your Application With Unique Answers Instead
When you take a step back and consider the common answers to the prompt, youll be able to come up with an answer that will subvert the judges expectations and keep their attention. In my case, while other students wrote about historical figures, I chose Chris Rock, the famous comedian.
My essay went on to argue that though hes perceived simply as a comedian, hes actually a highly astute social commentator. His jokes revealed the things we want to say but wont articulate because were afraid to. I even deconstructed one of his jokes and went into an in-depth analysis of why it was an examination of the racial attitudes our society holds.
And it worked.
My approach was offbeat yet professional. When looking for unique angles, you shouldnt make it offensive or inappropriate. Instead, aim to make it deep, personal, and a little bit against the grain.
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Can An Athletic Scholarship Be Taken Away
Losing an athletic scholarship is the unfortunate reality for some college student-athletes. There are a few different situations in which this might occur:
- Most commonly, the student-athlete might never have had the scholarship to begin with. Verbal agreements are non-binding they do not guarantee you a spot on the roster or a scholarship. Even once youve signed your National Letter of Intent, your agreement might not include scholarship aid.
- If you are injured, depending on the school you attend and whether it happened outside of games or practice, your scholarship can be pulled.
- Coaches can decide not to renew your scholarship for the next year. This isnt a case of the scholarship being taken away since they are typically only year-long contracts, but it can still come as a surprise to some student-athletes. Non-renewals can happen for various reasons, including a new coach joining the program, getting into trouble on or off the field, poor performance, etc.
- If you are not eligible to compete for any reasonpoor academics, not in good standing with the school, etc.a coach is not likely to keep you on scholarship.
Always Proofread Before Submitting
This is one of the most important scholarship tips. Proofreading is an essential aspect of writing your scholarship essay and submitting all other necessary documents. Make sure to correct any grammar and spelling errors, and double check that you have answered the prompt correctly. Try reading your essay aloud to see how it flows. This can help you catch grammatical errors or wordy sentences that you may have missed when reviewing in your head. It also helps to have someone else read through your essay to catch any missed mistakes.
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How Do You Get A Full
Most student-athletes do not receive a full-ride scholarshipin fact, only 1 percent do. Still, full-ride scholarships as the goal for many athletes, as they typically cover tuition and fees, books, room and board, supplies, and sometimes even living expenses.
If you receive a scholarship for a D1 headcount sport, youre guaranteed a full-ride. But there are only six headcount sports. If you play an equivalency sport, you can increase your chances of getting more scholarship money. For example, if you fill a specific and important role on the teamsuch as a baseball or softball pitcheryoure more likely to receive a larger offer. You can also use the leverage of multiple recruiting offers to get coaches to increase the amount they are willing to give you. Sometimes, just moving down a division level will get you more money. A lower-level recruit for D1 might receive a larger scholarship at the D2 level.
Where To Find Scholarships In College
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Look Locally For Private Scholarships
When starting your search for additional scholarships, start locally first for outside private scholarships the competition will be less, therefore increasing your chances of winning the award. Orsolini, who ran the scholarship program for Chamber of Commerce in Lombard, Ill., for a number of years, says they would typically receive 12-15 applications for two different scholarships. These numbers put applicants odds at around one in seven thats much better than one in thousands for something like the Dr. Pepper tuition giveaway.
For undergraduates, start the search at your high school. Many high schools will list local scholarships on the college section of their website, and guidance counselors at your school are likely to have some pointers as well.
For both undergraduate and graduate students, make sure to check your colleges website as they will also be likely to list scholarships that local organizations and alumni have made available to students of the college. If you prefer in-person help, schedule a time to go into your schools financial aid office to talk through the options.
Is It Really Worth It To Pursue Scholarships
When you look at all the options and work itll take to actually earn a college scholarship, it can be easy to ask:
Is this even worth it?
Especially when youre busy with your senior year of high school. Friends, clubs, teams, hobbies, AP classes, and lots more can fill up your schedule and make you think learning how to get scholarships just cant make its way onto your schedule.
But consider this:
If you DONT get a scholarship, youll be forced to pay for college on your own. That means working tons of hours during college.
Less time to study. Less time to date. Less time to enjoy the college scene. Because youll be working.
Life in college doesnt slow down it speeds up. And youre setting yourself up to miss all of it if you dont learn how to get a scholarship and apply for as many as possible.
Dont forget: I secured over $100,000 in college scholarships. The average U.S. salary is around $30,000.
So just ask yourself this: Are a few late nights filling out scholarship applications or missing a football game here or there worth THREE YEARS of work?As I see it, the answer is an obvious YES.
With that in mind, lets dive into how you can pull this off without burning out.
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