College parties and events can be fun, but let’s discuss the elephant in the room -- how to pay for it. Budgeting and saving money can definitely help alleviate the cost of a college education, but in most cases, it won’t cover the total cost. So, what can students do to help avoid thousands of dollars being expunged from their pockets? How can you pay for college for 4+ years without filing for bankruptcy? The best option for many is scholarships!
A vast majority of students receive scholarship funding when they are initially accepted into an institution in their freshman year. According to College Raptor, 57% of financial aid received by students are grants and scholarships. Unfortunately, as the years go on, the percentage of students who maintain their scholarships can dwindle and many students are forced to take out loans or find other options to pay for college. However, finding scholarships for sophomores, juniors, and seniors can be easy with the right tools! Check out these 5 easy tips on how to search for scholarships while you are already in college.
Recognize your resources
There are many quick and easy resources where you can find scholarship opportunities that are available.
- Student organizations
- Campus clubs such as The Black Student Union and The National Honors Society
- Federal agencies
- Alumni and Greek associations
- Free online tools such as collegegreenlight.com
Identify the types of scholarships available
You can receive a scholarship for literally almost anything. There are tons of organizations that give scholarships for having unique qualities and characteristics! The Tall Clubs International Organization has a scholarship for students under the age of 21 who meet the height requirement of 5’10 for women and 6’2 for men. How cool is that?
Save your essays
Students can be discouraged from applying for scholarships because of all of the supplemental essays that are required. However, you can often use the same essay to apply to multiple scholarships or you can make simple tweaks to your essay and repurpose the content. Create a Google Doc or Word file with every essay you have written in order to easily retrieve them again.
Keep up with deadlines
No one wants to miss out on free money. Keep up with when scholarships are due by noting them on your calendar or setting reminders for yourself.
Apply, Apply, Apply!
Apply for as many scholarships as you want! There is no cap on how much money you can receive.
As you can see, finding the perfect scholarship for you can be fun and easy. Although college can be expensive, there are tons of helpful scholarships that can be used towards your education. Don’t wait too long -- start your scholarship search early!
Audrey James, a junior psychology major from Chicago IL, is studying at Howard University in Washington DC. In her free time, she makes magic happen! Whether catching a bite to eat at a fun restaurant or going on a spontaneous adventure, you can always depend on Audrey to plan a load of exciting events!
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