Applying for outside scholarships (those that come from sources other than the state, federal government, or the colleges themselves) can be a time-consuming process. And according to Mark Kantrowitz of finaid.org, the raw odds of winning an outside scholarship are approximately 1-10. Still, free money for college is always a good thing, so here are a few tips to increase your odds.
2. Do a search on scholarships.com.
Scholarships.com is a free, comprehensive database of scholarships that lets you input data about your profile and generate a list of scholarships for which you may be qualified.
3. Look for the best fits.
Applying for scholarships is a numbers game, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be focused. Use the list that Fastweb gives you to find the scholarships you have the best chance of winning. Read the descriptions and the necessary qualifications carefully. Any scholarship that sounds like they wrote the description just for you is probably a good match.
4. Use your time this summer to apply.
Much like applying to college, the better your scholarship application, the better your chance of winning. Use the summer to apply, write the essays, and consider the best choices for any required letters of recommendation. It will be much easier and less stressful to do this when you aren’t balancing your senior course load and applying to college this fall.
5. Beware of scholarship search scams.
How do you spot one? If you have to pay money for it, or if the service “guarantees” scholarships, it’s probably a scam. All the information you need to find and apply for scholarships can be found at fastweb.com.