Which College Scholarships Should You Apply To?
Unless money isn’t an issue, chances are you’re going to need a lot of it to get by during college. The good news is that there are tons of ways to obtain the funds necessary to cover all of your college related expenses, such as grants and scholarships. Unlike student loans, these two forms of financial aid do not have to be paid back. It is essentially “free money for school.” When it comes to scholarships, however, it can be overwhelming to try and decide which ones to apply for.
There Is No Limit
Perhaps the first thing to know when researching scholarships for college is that there is no set limit to the number you can apply to. In fact, the more you apply to, the better. This doesn’t mean a free for all, though. It is still important to browse through the available scholarships and make a list of the ones that you’re interested in. By applying to numerous ones, the higher your chances will be of being awarded at least one–and if you happen to receive more, that means even more money for your college career!
Process of Elimination
All scholarships have rules, guidelines and requirements that much be met. You cannot apply if you are not eligible so once you’ve created a list of possible scholarships, go back through and carefully weed out the ones that you don’t meet the requirements for.
Target Your Strengths
Make the process easy on yourself by going for scholarships that you know you have a good shot at getting. By targeting your strengths, interests, hobbies and other factors, there should be no shortage of scholarship applications you can fill out. For example, if you’re terrible at sports do not waste your time trying to go for a sports-oriented scholarship. But if you’re a whiz in math, then look for as many math-oriented scholarships as you can. Do you devote much of your free time to charity and participating in community events? Then search for scholarships that relate to that field. Do you play a musical instrument? Then apply for scholarships created for students with musical talent and so on.
Turn to Your Heritage/Racial Background
In the effort to ensure that as many students as possible have a shot at a college education, there are now scholarships that are ethnic-based. From African-American scholarships and Asian-American scholarships to Native American and even Irish American scholarships, the possibilities for these types of financial aid are endless. To be eligible for these types of scholarships, most students are required to be a certain percentage of a specific racial background (for example, a student applying for a Japanese American scholarship must be at least 25-50% Japanese to qualify).
Think Outside Of the Box
Other types of scholarships that you may want to look into include those that are considered unusual or focus on recognizing students with special talents, favorite hobbies and extracurricular activities. So if you’re really good at solving crossword puzzles, enjoy writing about space travel or have created a fashion outfit made entirely of duct tape (known as the “Stuck at Prom” scholarship), tap into those niches and you may be lucky enough to get free money for college out of it!