Whether you’re in the transition stage or already in college, paying for your education is likely at the top of your priority list. That being said, free money sounds pretty appealing, right?
You’ve heard it a thousand times, “Apply for scholarships!” You know your financial future is important, but those large scholarship databases have left you feeling like a little fish in a big pond. You’re up against so many people and it seems the odds are not in your favor. What can you do to stand out?
Here are 4 pieces of advice that will increase your odds:
1) Don’t give up.
Nothing worth having comes easy, and free money may not always come easy. You have a life, so obviously you can’t spend every hour of the day searching for scholarships. However, you can make a plan to spend at least ten minutes every day on your scholarship search.
2) Don’t let your social networking site work against you.
Type your name online and see what pops up. If you’re applying for merit-based scholarships, many times an online presence can help or hurt you. In addition, be very selective on what you post to your social networking sites. Pictures of last weekend’s crazy party or status updates with profanity should be avoided at all cost. Lastly, the biggest mistake you can make is not making your profiles private, not only because of scholarships, but safety as well.
3) Put a spotlight on your accomplishments.
It’s time to throw those modesty lessons out the window! When it comes to scholarship essays, don’t be afraid to boast about all of your accomplishments. Remember to think about your audience and give them a true sense of who you are. There are plenty of online resources with tips for composing scholarship essays, check them out!
4) See what your school has to offer.
Even if you’re already attending college, it’s never too late to check out your school’s scholarship database. Many times all you have to do is sign up, and the database will match you to the appropriate scholarships based on your academic standing, student activities, and other criteria. Check with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to see when you should apply.
The more proactive you are, the more money you will find. You will be able to relax a little more in college knowing you eliminated a substantial amount of debt from your future.