Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.com » Paying for College

How Easy is it to Find a College Scholarship?

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Going to college is an exciting prospect to most people, but thinking about ways to pay for a college education can be a real headache, and some people may be unable to afford the education they would really like. Trying to find a college scholarship is an obvious step to take, but what types of scholarships are available, and just how easy is it to find a college scholarship?

What are the Different Types of College Scholarships?

Colleges generally have a number of specific awards available that help supplement the financial package offered to applicants. The most common types are athletic scholarships or academic awards. In addition there may be departmental awards, and a lot of private organizations and corporations offer scholarship awards.

Athletic College Scholarships

These types of scholarships are extremely competitive, and the application process may be quite arduous, but it is possible to gain a scholarship and is definitely worth a go. A good website to look at is the National Collegiate Athletic Association website http://www.ncaa.org, and according to the information given, athletic scholarships for undergraduate student athletes attending Division I and Division II schools are partially funded through the distribution of NCAA membership funds.

Each scholarship is awarded by the academic institution, not the NCAA, and about $1 billion worth of scholarships are awarded in this way each year. Some 126,000 students benefit from either a full or partial scholarship. If you are thinking about applying for an athletic scholarship then you need to check that you are attending a Division I or Division II school, as Division III schools only have academic scholarships to offer.

A good way to find out is to contact the financial aid office of the college you wish to attend, as they will have lots of useful information about possible awards you can apply for.

Applying for Academic Scholarships

Academic scholarships are merit based and are awarded for academic achievement. Once again the best place to find out about awards offered by your college is to inquire at the financial aid office. You could be pleasantly surprised as sometimes you may not even need to apply for an academic award, as they could be included in the financial aid package offered by your college which is based on your application.

Awards Offered by Corporations

Corporations often decide to offer scholarships as a way of attracting employees and supporting the community in which their business is located. These types of scholarships are often worth applying for as they frequently go unawarded due to lack of applicants.

The best way to find out about these is to research local businesses in your area, and newspaper archives often contain information about award announcements. Statistically speaking you probably have a much higher chance of receiving an award from a private corporation purely because demographics restrict the number of possible candidates. Your local Chamber of Commerce can be invaluable as a source of information as to which businesses offer scholarships.

Scholarships Offered by the Military

When trying to find a college scholarship, this is one category that is an extremely well-known source. Military scholarships are awarded on the basis that you will do a tour of duty with whichever branch is supporting your education. Although they may pay your full tuition fees, plus a stipend for books, you must be prepared to fulfill your agreement. If your career plans involve joining the military, then this can be an excellent way of funding your college education. This government website is a useful source of information. http://www.students.gov

If you find a college scholarship you wish to apply for, then it is worthwhile spending your time over the application. If you are applying for a particularly popular scholarship then the first applications to be eliminated will be the incomplete applications which contain spelling errors. It is pointless spending hours perfecting your application essay if you don’t thoroughly proofread all your documents. This website has useful information on preparing your application http://www.scholarshiphelp.org/preparing_application.htm. You should be prepared to spend around 10 to 15 hours on each scholarship application, but when you think of the potential rewards this is a small price to pay.

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