What is a scholarship? Are there different types of scholarships? Where do I look and what do I need to do to get a scholarship? Let’s look at the answers to these basic questions that might help you realise your education dreams.
Types of Scholarships
Scholarships come in many forms, each with its own set of criteria that must be met. Governments, organisations, foundations, businesses, clubs, and even individuals offer scholarships of all varieties. Following is a general breakdown of the types of scholarships available.
The merit scholarship is for individuals who have proven excellence in scholarly pursuits, athletic ability, or artistic endeavors. Often athletes and scholars will receive a full scholarship, which means that the entire duration will be paid for by the institution or foundation.
Students that lack the financial base to pursue an education may be considered for a scholarship that allows them to further their studies. Along with proving need, you may be asked to meet specifications such as outstanding grades.
Scholarships geared toward gender, race, or religion offer money to those who meet the criteria.
Clubs and corporations offer scholarship funds for individuals who meet the requirements. In order to win a financial gift from an organisation, you must meet certain expectations or possibly win an essay competition.
Where to Search
Start searching for scholarships immediately. Talk with your guidance counselor, if you’re still in high school, for suggestions. You must know the specifics of each scholarship before applying. Some may require an essay, a specific grade point average, a particular course of study, or to go through and win a competition.
How to Apply
Before applying for a scholarship, read the requirements and take note of the expectations. By starting the process early, if questions come up, you have time to seek answers before the deadline.
As you search for scholarships, keep all relevant information in a file. The better organised you are, the better chances of you finding and getting the right scholarship.
Here’s a general list of what most scholarship applications include, depending on where you live:
• Transcripts from high school or a previous college must be included.
• Standardised test scores (SAT and ACT). If you’re over the age of 25 you may not need to take the SAT or ACT.
• FASFA (Free Application for Student Financial Aid)
• Send your financial information, including your income tax return. If you’re a high school student, include your parent’s financial information.
• Letters of recommendation from at least two people who know you well.
• You might be requested to prove that you are eligible, be prepared to send the information.
• If an essay is required, send it along with the application written to the exact specifications of the scholarship foundation.
The competition for available scholarships is fierce. Double check the application, essay and all materials needed. Set yourself up for success by showing you deserve that scholarship.