What you should know about scholarships
The ever-increasing cost of tertiary education, has made so many people perceive post-secondary education as a luxury. There is no need to feel things that way, as there is always help for those who are needy. College scholarships as well as grants and other programs are readily available to those students who are needy and willing to do research and adhere to the existing regulations. The grants and scholarship providers set their own regulations and standards for the eligible students. It is worth noting that scholarship providers so many applications, this increases the chances of tossing aside those students who do not match their target profile. It is therefore, important for the needy students to have a clear understanding about the eligibility criteria being followed. The various factors considered in the eligibility criteria include deadlines, age, spelling and grammar among other important qualifications. In some cases, if you are left handed, then you can also qualify for a variety of scholarship opportunities as well.
The kinds of scholarships available
Scholarships are actually gifts, which do not need to be repaid as opposed to getting money for school from student aid. There are so many of them offered by schools, private companies, individuals, non- profit organizations, religious groups and many other social organizations. Most of the college scholarships are based on merit, you earn them by meeting or going beyond the laid out regulations and standards set out by the scholarship provider. They are usually awarded based on the academic achievements or special talents but still there are so many available based on the financial constraints of the student. Some scholarships are available for target groups e.g. Women or high school seniors, others are available for certain students of specific backgrounds e.g. military families. Although scholarships might cover, the whole cost f your education or may come once as a onetime award of few hundred dollars, it is worth applying for, as it will relieve you a substantial cost.
How to find the scholarships
Finding a scholarship is quite easy but a bit tricky. You can contact the financial aid at your school; check it in a public library or from online sources. The tricky part is to know whether the offer is legitimate. Remember you do not have to pay anything during the application process. It is advisable you check out and follow recommendations in order to avoid frauds. The free sources of scholarships available include the financial aid office at college or career school, student’s counselor, search tool at the U.S. Department of Labor, library reference section, federal agencies, professionals associations, religious and community organizations among other legitimate sources.
Appropriate time for applying scholarship
It entirely depends on the scholarships’ deadline. For most scholarships, it is early in the year before the college starts, so for those in high school this might be the appropriate time to start researching and applying. This article from Sallie Mae about scholarships can help.
How to apply for scholarships
The scholarships website should give you the requirements for that particular scholarship because each scholarship has its own requirements. It is important to ensure that you meet all the requirements then you go ahead, fill all the entries, and meet the deadline.
Scholarship money might go to your college directly where it will cater for the tuition fee and other debts then the remainder will be given to you. Alternatively, it can be sent to you in form of cheque, the provider should tell you what to expect on what you have been awarded, if not, make sure you inquire on the same.
Effects of scholarship on other student aids
It is important to ensure that you inform the finance office at the school about your scholarships, so that the cost of attendance is effectively accounted for and the arrears can then be catered for by other financial aids that you are entitled to, such as students loans.