How to Secure Your Future with a College Scholarship
Whether you’re a Grade 12 student looking for ways to secure a college education or a college freshman who just realized that you want to help your parents, there’s a scholarship program that you can apply to.
Applying to college scholarship programs is not as easy as one may think for the primary reason that scholarships are bestowed to exemplary students and talented individuals. The goal of these programs is to make sure that financial aid is awarded to the most deserving students.
Students and their families need to know what to do to find the best program, and how they can apply for it. We’ve created a guide to help you through the process of getting a college scholarship.
1. Look for the scholarship program that best fits your needs and situation.
So, you’ve decided to actually go for it. Now, it’s time to look for the scholarship program that can best fit your situation.
If you’re an exemplary student with consistently high grades, you can look for academic scholarship and student assistance programs. Such grants require students to have a specific grade point average to qualify.
You can also opt for a non-academic scholarship that focuses on rewarding talent instead of academic excellence. Such grants are given to students who exhibit special talents and skills in specific fields such as fine arts, performing arts, sports, music, writing, and other fields of interests.
Other non-academic scholarships you can look for include cadet scholarships for ROTC Corps Commanders, publication scholarships for writers and editors of school publications, and government or municipal scholarship and grants from foundations and private corporations, charities, philanthropists, politicians, and celebrities.
2. Find scholarship grants that you’re qualified for.
There are thousands of scholarships that are available for students nowadays. In fact, you can look for education opportunities and scholarship grants on the internet. Platforms such as Courses.com.ph, Edukasyon.ph, and Scholarship Portal provide a list of open scholarships and education grants.
If you’re already enrolled, you can ask your school administrators of any student assistantship programs available. Some schools offer partial or full scholarship in exchange for community hours rendered. You can be assigned tasks such as organizing documents, running errands around the campus, or addressing simple student concerns.
You’re now one step further into reaching your dreams!
3. Complete application forms and requirements.
Once you’ve shortlisted a number of scholarship programs that you’re qualified for, it’s time to complete an application form and submit all necessary documentations. These may include your transcript of records, letters of recommendation, proof of family income, government certificates such as your birth certificate, valid IDs, and other relevant documents.
For non-academic scholarships, you may be asked to submit proof of your accomplishments. If you’re an artist, you may need to show them a portfolio of your past and current works of art. For talented singers, dancer, actors, and performers, you may need to go through a talent test or provide previous playbills, videotapes, recordings, and the like. For athletes, you may need to attend try-outs for a certain period.
4. Apply to multiple scholarship programs.
You don’t know which scholarship grant you’ll actually win, so apply for all the scholarship programs you’re eligible for.
Don’t disregard the less competitive scholarships and small awards, as these are easier to win. Further, small grants combined can add up to a larger amount.
If you win more than one scholarship grant, then you have the option to choose which one will benefit you more in the long run.
5. Tailor your application to the sponsoring organization’s goals and objectives.
Most sponsors require an essay from the student applicant. Carefully craft your essay and tailor it according to the goals and mission of the organization. Don’t submit the same generic essay to different programs.
Make sure that your application is personalized and speaks directly to the sponsor’s ideals.
6. Wait for a response. Further instructions or an interview may be arranged.
Now that you’ve completed your application, you need to wait for a response patiently. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear from anyone in a week or two. Remember that scholarship awards go through a rigid screening process.
Follow-up on your application to let them know that you’re eagerly awaiting news. Always be courteous and cordial to avoid coming off as pushy or imposing.
If an interview is scheduled, prepare for it in advance. Make sure that you’re confident when you walk in the room. Dress appropriately and show them how talented you are that you’re worthy of the grant.
7. Strictly adhere to all deadlines and instructions.
Consider the application process part of the screening. When you follow instructions to the letter, you’re showing your sponsor that you pay attention to details and that you’re a well-organized individual.
Never be late to any meeting or deadline! Tardiness demonstrates disrespect. Keep in mind that these people will potentially be sponsoring your much-valued college education. Maintain professionality and cordiality at all times.
Beware of Scholarship Scams!
The internet nowadays is abounded with scams that attempt to either get money from you or phish out personal and financial information. Scholarships are there to provide financial assistance for students, not to make a profit from them. Never pay to apply for scholarships or student grants.
If you’re being asked to send your SSS number or TIN number right away, consider that as a red flag. Furthermore, make sure that information about the sponsoring organization is available. Legitimate scholarship grants will provide contact information and details about their organization.
Lastly, scholarships will never guarantee right from the start that you will win the scholarship program. Most foundations and organizations employ a rigid screening process for students and their families. So, if you feel that the scholarship program you’re applying to is not legitimate, move on and find another one.
Good luck on your search and we hope you find the scholarship program that will help you reach your dreams!
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