Let’s face it…we’re broke.
Two and a half years of college under my belt and I still pray that God is going to provide for my bills next year. Thankfully, so far He has in the form of financial aid. A lot of freshman I’ve talked to simply don’t know where to start. After some reflection, I’ve thought of ways to jumpstart your scholarship application process. So here’s 5 tips for scoring yourself a scholarship or two!
Search for Scholarship Applications right now!
It’s December so scholarship application season has already begun for next school year! Beginning in early November and running through about April, I’d say there are a number of major opportunities at most Universities to apply for some scholarships. If you start early, you’ll be able to come up with a list to work on over the holiday break or at least have on your radar for the Spring.
Don’t be afraid to ask
I’ve gotten scholarships from all sorts of places. Just since coming to college, I’ve gotten scholarships from my department, college, volunteer groups, food services on campus, the library, and other groups just offering scholarships! Go in and ask at the office of something you’re involved in to see if they offer any. Whether its where you study, work, or volunteer there may be an opportunity for money!
Work for it!
Lot’s of times my scholarships aren’t without a caveat of work. Research grants have become a staple in my yearly financial aid. I conduct research for the university throughout the school year and in exchange I get a scholarship and valuable experience. Another way I’ve gotten money is through a volunteer group. If I complete so many hours, I get an automatic check and even then I still have the opportunity to apply for more money specifically for volunteers. As mentioned before, even my job with residential life as an R.A. and my library job give me access to employee only funding.
Know your professors
Some of the best recommendation letters can come from your professors–especially for university scholarships. Take the time to get to know your professors. They are awesome people and they can really write you an awesome letter if they are familiar with you and your work.
Just do it!
So many scholarships go unclaimed. If you apply for them–even those you don’t think you’ll get–you may come out with something! Last year I got three scholarships from my department because there were so few applications. Put in the work and there will be a reward.
I hope some of this helps. I know it’s a lot of hardwork, but believe me it can pay-off!