By Kristina Drendel
Let’s face it; college can be pretty expensive. Not only do students have to worry about tuition, they also typically have housing, food, and book/supply expenditures as well. Some students may be fortunate enough to automatically receive scholarships from their school for good grades or athletic and artistic abilities just for their application stats, but unfortunately, these scholarships typically do not cover the entire cost of attendance. As a result, many students have to come up with other ways to pay for schooling. One great way to do this is to apply for other scholarships either within your school or from outside sources. I have been fortunate enough to have received several scholarships, so I thought I would share my three best tips to increase your chances of receiving financial aid.
Apply for everything you qualify for: This first one might seem like it goes without saying, but you would be surprised at how many people don’t apply for scholarships! One of my professors told me the other day that a few years back my department offered three $5,000 scholarships, and only one person applied. Many people decided to not apply because they figured that so many people would try for it that they wouldn’t have a shot. This could not have been farther from the truth. Even if you think you won’t win, it’s always worth a shot.
Scholarships that require more effort, typically have fewer applicants: This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. People don’t want to put in effort for something they believe they have zero chance at winning, but really, the higher effort applications get fewer people. Writing a long paper for a scholarship might seem tedious but think about it in terms of a job. If you win, those three hours spent writing that paper could earn you $1,000 or even more. That comes out to roughly $333 per hour which you probably won’t find at most workplaces.
Save every essay you write: I cannot count the number of times this tip has helped me out. Often times, I have been able to reuse essays, whether whole or parts of, to complete my scholarship application. You would be surprised how many basic school essays can meet the criteria for different scholarships! Even if I can only reuse a paragraph here or there, that’s still one less paragraph that I have to type out.
Edited by Emily Chance