Nowadays, searching for high school scholarships should be easier than ever before—but is it? Searching for plainly “Scholarships” in search engines will return you about 83 million results. That high number of results could make students hopeful -or very frustrated. Top scholarship sites are highly visible and have a large number of students competing for limited scholarships. If your student doesn’t have a stellar GPA and writing capabilities, they might be wasting time on general scholarship sites. The folks over at GrownUpMe have compiled a list of tips to find scholarships. By taking a bit of time to find scholarships, students could potentially save thousands of dollars on college tuition!
There are hundreds of community foundations throughout the United States. Some are state-wide while others serve small counties, but either way, it’s a great place to start. Community foundations are organizations that donate and organize grants and scholarships for the betterment of the community. The Council on Foundations has a great search-by-state tool to help locate foundations close to you. Once you have found foundations you can search their sites or email information. Not only are these local scholarships, but often lesser known. If students qualify, they are much more likely to receive the scholarship they applied for. So without further ado, here are a few useful tips for finding a scholarship that you should know about:
Sometimes scholarships are right in front of you and your students. Make sure they visit their schools district’s website for sometimes they list scholarships that your high schools don’t. With fewer people visiting the district’s site for scholarships, they may be able to nab them before anyone else even knows they’re there! High School counselors will also know of the schools and district’s many scholarships.
If a student has already been accepted into a university they can look into their scholarships too. They usually have incoming freshmen scholarships, as well as upperclassmen opportunities, but don’t stop there. If they know their department, look at those individual sites as well. For example, a school’s separate business school site may list unique scholarships that only apply to business students. This can be a great way of getting those lesser known scholarships with ease.
To Write the Essay or Not?
If they’re applying to many scholarships in a short time period, they may not have time for those calling for essays, however essays weed out many students. The fact is that most students hesitate to apply to scholarships calling for essays- which is the exact reason why they should complete essay scholarships. Most students feel the same way towards essays and won’t do them. This automatically weeds out potential recipients, and makes them more eligible. Yes, this will take more time, but when they receive that hefty check for tuition, it will be well worth it.
Apply for the Little Guys
Students and parents will see the large $10,000+ scholarships and immediately apply, but so is everyone else. The chance of a student getting a scholarship declines severely when it’s a high dollar amount. Instead choose modest scholarships around $500. They are not as impressive and won’t cover your entire tuition, but the smaller scholarships can quickly add up- not to mention they’re easier to come by. If you’re lucky, you can find scholarships that reoccur, meaning every tuition year they’ll automatically receive money. That small scholarship x4 doesn’t look so small anymore.
Applying for scholarships can be a pain in the butt, but when you go into it having the best odds, the likelihood increases. Look for smaller local scholarships, and write! What takes a few hours now could save your students hundreds or thousands of dollars over the next four years!