5 Ways of Improving Your Chances of Getting a Scholarship
Many students today rely on scholarships and grants to pay for their college and university tuition, and the competition for the few spots available is very fierce.
For instance, there are over a million and a half high school seniors who attain an A grade every year and most apply for financial aid. Of these seniors, one in six attains a perfect 4.0 average. With such high levels of competition to contend with, students need all the help they can to get a scholarship. But there are things every student can do to improve his or her chances of getting a scholarship. Here just 5 of them:
1) Work Hard in High School
This may sound obvious, but if you get poor grades in high school, the chances of making it to university or getting a grant for higher education are lessened. So it’s important to work hard on your studies even before thinking about filling out a scholarship form. While still in high school, you should also take the opportunity to consult with your school counselor about local scholarship opportunities that might be worth considering.
2) Participate in Sports
Students who engage in sporting activities and community service before they go to college have a better chance of earning an athletic scholarship than those who don’t. However, you don’t necessarily need to be an astounding athlete to be accepted for a sports scholarship. You can instead enroll in lower division schools that are highly ranked in the concentration you’re thinking of; this way you get the best learning you can get in addition to having your tuition taken care of.
3) File for Student Aid
Students applying for scholarships should fill the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as they possibly can as it is used to determine whether they are eligible for aid and grants from the government and private foundations. The mistake most applicants make is to wait for their guardians to file their tax returns before applying for FAFSA. Instead, they should estimate their family income and make necessary changes later.
4) Search for Scholarships Both Online and Offline
These days, free websites like Fastweb and BigFuture can be used to match potential scholarship beneficiaries to scholarship programs. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are also being used by scholarship sponsors to recruit and contact applicants to their programs. As a result, students should clean up their social media accounts to improve their chances of getting selected for a scholarship. On the other hand, they can also search for local scholarships on bulletin boards outside local libraries, aid offices or high school counselor’s offices.
5) Apply for as Many Scholarships as Possible
One of the best ways for people to maximize their chances of winning a scholarship is by applying for every program they are eligible for. This includes applying for particular scholarships available to specific niches such as those for minorities, special needs people, and women. Students can increase their chances further by consulting the financial aid officials at a university or college of interest.
For students today, getting a scholarship today is harder than it has ever been. One should, however, not be discouraged by the tough competition for the few available positions or by rejections that are bound to come. Instead, use the tips we’ve just given to gain an edge on the competition and hopefully get a little help towards your goal of getting higher education.