The Impossible Task – Tips on Applying for a Scholarship
The average cost of a non-profit, private, four-year college degree is $46,950. This means that per year, you have to pay a total of $11,737.5 for room and board, tuition and other fees.
Clearly, that’s a large amount. Yet, it doesn’t even include the costs of transport, books and study material, clothing, food and more to the total.
Now, to cover this amount, you have the easy option of getting a loan, something which many have already availed.
In fact, around 70 percent of college students graduate with a certain amount of debt to their name. But the situation is direr when we find that 44 million Americans collectively are nearly $1.5 trillion in debt, something they are in no condition to pay off for at least 20 years.
This is why we recommend that you try for a scholarship, so you can win the chance of a free or at least partially-free trip to college!
The Do’s and Don’ts of Applying for a Scholarship
Do Start Your Search Sooner, Rather than Later
If you’re thinking about applying for a scholarship, don’t wait until a year or two before you graduate from high school. The earlier you apply; the higher your chances will be of actually being accepted.
Keep in mind that the process is slow. If you apply later and do get accepted, you may not even hear back until it’s late, during which time you may have applied to other colleges and given up hope.
Don’t Just Stick to One Category
Have options. Don’t just limit yourself to one kind of scholarship, but also don’t cast your net too wide. Apply for artistic, athletic, and academic scholarships that’ll help you with your future goals, otherwise you’ll be stuck in the wrong field.
Do Include Letters of Recommendation
A letter of recommendation might just make all the difference for your application. But be smart when adding letters. The person writing the letter has to be reliable such as a teacher or a tutor.
If you add a sloppy recommendation letter or worse, a cookie-cutter style letter, your application may not be considered, since they won’t see any effort being put into it.
Don’t Only Choose Scholarships with Large Award Amounts
Sure, large award amounts might just solve all your problems, but the competition will be rife for those scholarships. If you want to improve your chances of success, applying for all award amounts might just work in your favor.
Keep in mind that there’s no actual limit to how many scholarships you may apply for. If you end up winning several awards (it has been known to happen), you could just add them up and use that sum to pay for your tuition.
Do Keep Your Expectations Realistic
Winning a scholarship is a numbers game. The more you apply, the greater your chances will be of wining. So keep applying and don’t give up. But also, don’t lose hope if you don’t hear anything right away.
Remember, it can be difficult to win a scholarship at times (competition!), but it’s not impossible. Try your best.
Improve Your Chances by Improving Your Skills!
Brush up on your essay writing skills. Sign up for urban youth development workshops to develop your leadership skills. Work with organizations such as Youth with a Future to learn the basics of what you need to improve your future chances.
And follow the tips above. You may just win the opportunity to study in the best colleges, without worrying about your tuition fees!