Although getting a college degree may be the difference between having a rewarding career or feeling less fulfilled in the workplace, it can be expensive. The availability of student loans makes it possible for many people to attend college who may not otherwise be able to afford it, but confronting that mountain of debt post-graduation is not exactly pleasant. If you’re looking for other ways to fund your education, check out these tips for scoring a scholarship:
1. Start early
Many scholarship applications require a significant amount of information, from letters of recommendation to transcripts or essays. You don’t want to miss the application deadline because you didn’t start the process soon enough. Don’t wait until the last minute to apply – take the time to build a solid scholarship application to improve the possibility of success.
2. Go local
Although there are many scholarships available nationally, you will increase your chances of being awarded funding by applying for scholarships offered specifically in your community. Checking with local businesses and organizations like the YMCA, Kiwanis and Rotary Club is a good place to start. Having a personal connection to the organization could also increase your chances.
3. Use the web
There are numerous databases available to assist you in your scholarship search, including CollegeBoard and Scholarship America. You can also search for local scholarships online. Don’t forget to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The government may be able to offer you grants in addition to student loans.
4. Be diligent
Don’t wait around for a fantastic scholarship to fall in your lap. Check to see if new scholarships are available each semester and ask professionals or leaders in the community if they are aware of any scholarship opportunities. Your college may also have scholarships available, so check their website.