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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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