Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.com » Paying for College

How To Get a Scholarship For College

scholarship for college

A scholarship for college will enable you to complete your postsecondary education with ease and empower you with a degree that will help you get a well paying job. With the increasing cost of higher education, many students think that going to college or university is a luxury, but the truth is that there are innumerable scholarship options that you can choose from, depending on your financial background, your education, and several other aspects. Unlike an education loan, a scholarship does not need to be repaid, freeing you from the burden of paying your education costs back.

Most colleges typically divide scholarships into need based and merit based categories. Some special scholarships may also be available for minorities and single mothers. Students who come from financially disadvantaged families are eligible to apply for need based scholarships while those with high GPAs and spectacular academic records can apply for merit based scholarships.

Once you have finalized a college you want to apply to, calculate the tuition costs and living expenses. Read through the scholarship requirements of the college and start preparing your application packet. Every college that offers institutional scholarships to students requires a separate form to be filled, which must be accompanied by an essay, which should include the details that are required by your college. Always remember to write an objective essay – rewrite, delete, write and read it out loud. If you are not convinced about your essay, chances are even the reviewer won’t be. Spend time thinking about what you should write.

With the plethora of websites offering scholarship information, the chances of getting stale or incorrect information are high. Here are some common scholarship myths:


  • Scholarships are available only for students with high GPAs or student athletes: As long as you have a minimum GPA of 2.5, you are eligible to apply for scholarships that do not have a GPA or sports requirement.

  • Most scholarships are reserved for minorities: This is not true. While there are special scholarships available for minorities, a lot of other scholarships are available for all kinds of students.

  • They are not worth applying to due to the stiff competition: While there is a lot of competition for scholarships, following the application process correctly can help you in getting the scholarship you want.

  • Finding scholarships is a time consuming process: No. Several great resources are available online as well as offline to help you with your scholarship search. The first stop should be the college website, which will have a list of institutional scholarships and lead you to a page that lists external scholarships as well.

  • A lot of scholarships go unawarded: There is a very small percentage of scholarships that remain unawarded for reasons best known to the people organizing them, however, more than 90% scholarships are awarded each year to deserving students.

There are a lot of scholarships that provide compensation of $1000 or $1500. These amounts may seem less but they can go a long way in paying your tuition costs if you happen to win six or seven of these scholarships. You can also explore options like scholarship competitions where a written exam is conducted and students with the highest scores are awarded the scholarship. Additionally, some civic bodies also organize poetry and writing competitions where the award is paid towards your tuition.

Each year, you will have to repeat your scholarship search to pay tuition costs for your next year of education. If you start your scholarship search by January each year, you will have a chance of applying to a lot more scholarship programs which close early.

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