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Four Tips to Find Easy Scholarships to Apply For

Four Tips to Find Easy Scholarships to Apply For

Some scholarships will be easier to apply for than others. Keep in mind that if they are really easy to apply for, e.g. if they just require a couple of sentences by way of application (instead of requesting an essay, personal statement, proof of grades, a CV, examples of extra-curricular activities of sports or volunteering) then there will probably be more competition for that scholarship. Everyone wants an easy option and the scholarship may not amount to a high financial reward. That said, you must to be in it to win it and even small scholarships here and there can help.

There are many ways to pay for college. This article focuses on making the scholarship search as easy as possible for you, whilst trying to keep it realistic and relevant to your needs.

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1. Be prepared.

Be prepared to thoroughly research relevant scholarships yourself and send in the applications. Do not pay someone to do this research for you. Both searching for and completing the applications is time consuming, and it may feel like you are having to repeat a lot of information in slightly different ways, but it’s worth it when successful. If you are put off by applying, other people will be, too. If you actually get your applications in, then you are already one step ahead of most of them. The more you apply for the better. If you have done your research before you start, you’ll have already decided which scholarships are worth your while applying for. You will have checked that you meet all their requirements and therefore stand a better chance of success.

2. Know the amount you want.

To some extent, it depends on how much scholarship money would be beneficial to you. Some weird scholarships are for a lower amount of money, and may not require you to submit such a lengthy essay response, but may offer a $500, $1,000 or $2,000 dollar scholarship to the successful candidate. These may be easy to apply for and easy to find online with a quick Internet search. You can specifically search for “no-essay scholarships.”

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3. Think outside of the box.

Do you belong to a club or church, or  do you work for a business that funds private scholarships? Are there big businesses near where you live that may offer a scholarship (and perhaps future employment once you have graduated)? It may depend on what sort of study you are interested in, i.e. if it is something like chemistry or engineering then look at large organizations/industries connected to them near where you are located. If they do have scholarships, enquire whether you’re eligible to apply.

There are big companies that offer scholarships. For example: Dr Pepper offers $100,000 to students ages 18-24 years and gives four awards. The entry for this is a 350-word response. Then students need to get friends to vote for them, submit a video, and attend a college football conference championship game. There’s a $20,000 Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Scholarship that gives 20 awards per year; this requires applicants to demonstrate the good skills of being motivated and showing good morals, plus good sportsmanship with a desire to lead. There are certain scholarships affiliated with certain religions such as the Christian College Scholarship worth $2,500.

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There will be universities that are local to you, universities that teach specific courses that are highly relevant to your chosen area of study, and universities that have outstanding reputations that you’d like to attend. In all of these cases, go directly to the university’s main website and type “scholarships” into the search-box. If they’re good, reputable universities, with a quick search you’ll find all the scholarship opportunities that they have to offer. Some university websites will break this down specifically into subject/department areas for scholarships. If the government of the country you live in funds any research (for example in the UK they have research councils), they’re likely to pay this funding directly to universities, and then they distribute that money as scholarships.

4. Pick the right scholarships.

Just like when choosing college, ensure that the scholarship you are applying for is for something that you are really passionate about and enjoy. If you enjoy what you are applying to do, the application for it will seem easy and not hard work at all. For example, if creative writing is your passion and you want to study that at university, having to complete a creative writing task for your scholarship application should actually be a pleasure. We often excel at what we enjoy, so your application may stand out from the rest. You may find the scholarship application task easy, whereas another person may struggle with it.

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Many “Easy Scholarships” mean that you don’t have to do a lengthy application form, essay, or show grades, but many students will apply for these. Generally the amount you could get isn’t as great as some other more traditional scholarships unless it’s a promotional one, such as the Dr. Pepper one mentioned in point four above. You can look for many easy scholarships online from scholarship websites. Remember, the more you find and apply for the better.

College life is not easy, but having scholarships will definitely help you financially and that will make your life much easier.

Featured photo credit: StartupStockPhotos via pixabay.com

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Liem Nguyen

Entrepreneur

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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