Getting a grant or a scholarship that would pay for your higher education is complicated to say the least. After all, if it were easy, everyone would do it! However, it is still less cumbersome than paying off huge student loans. Each application process is unique, but there is a general structure you can follow.
1. Evaluate how much money you would actually require. Tuition prices are increasing almost daily. Even if your parents had the foresight and opportunity to set up a college fund for you, that money might not be enough. And in addition to tuition you need to cover books, food, gas, dorm fees, etc. State universities can charge over a hundred thousand dollars for an undergraduate degree.
2. Work on yourself! It should really come as the first step. Scholarships are aimed to support deserving young people that would not be able to afford a good education otherwise, so make yourself worthy of such a support.
3. Submit your applications at the earliest convenience. Grants are a lot like free doughnuts this way: come too late and they will be long gone. If you want to increase your chances, start early and go big. Send out as many applications as you can. This way you not only increase your chances, but get better at the process itself. Additionally, just one scholarship may not be enough to cover all your expenses, so don’t miss even the least feasible chance at money.
4. Double check your application. You don’t want to lose your chance because of a misprint or a wrong date. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can just throw your submission out if it doesn’t meet the requirements. Admittedly though, the directions are pretty easy to follow.
5. Do your research. Using the Internet as a tool, you can find out which universities offer the biggest number of grants for your subject. Concentrate your offers there. Additionally, you can find out what will make you a more attractive recipient for a scholarship and mold yourself in that image.
6. Add a personal touch. If you have your heart set on a specific institution, take some time to visit it and speak to the financial help department. They have a wealth of information on programs that you can benefit from. If the school is too far away or you simply don’t have time, call or write a letter instead.
7.Look for help locally. Where do your parents work? Many big companies have grants for children of their employees. There can also be opportunities at your church, club, or volunteer organization. If you are a person of color, there are some scholarships aimed at ethnic minorities you might take advantage of.
Generally, just be persistent and don’t despair if the first responses will be rejections.
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