Scholarships - Something You Should Know

by: Michael Russell
A scholarship is a form of award given to students to help cover their study expenses and is often based on academic achievements. Most students want to have a scholarship so that they don't have to worry about financial problems and just focus on their study and college lives. To optimize your chance of winning a scholarship, besides preparing your application packet carefully with your portfolios, recommendation letters, essays, etc., you have to take care of some additional issues.

Keep an eye on announcements about new scholarships. They come out frequently from various sources: your school, city, country's government or some special organizations. Certain local newspapers often list new scholarships as well. If you don't read those papers, you can ask your parents to notify you when they see any proper scholarship listed there. You can be more active by searching online for scholarships yourself. There are many websites providing this free service. Some good examples are Collegeboard.com and Fastweb.com. However, you should beware of any websites requiring payment for using their services. Personally, I think using well-known free Scholarship websites is enough. Another way to search for scholarships is to check on some large companies' or institutions' websites. Some institutions provide scholarships but do not list them on the search engine. If the information is not enough, you should contact that company or institution for more details.

Don't forget the deadlines. Each scholarship has its own application deadline. If you apply for a lot of scholarships, write all the deadlines in some eye-catching place to make sure that you won't forget them. Moreover, you should be aware what kind of deadline it is. Some scholarships state that applications should be received before the deadlines while others just need students to send the applications before these dates and they will check the sending dates on the envelope. In addition, some change their deadlines so remember to check the information on the scholarship's website frequently.

Be aware of scholarship scams. Scholarships are aimed to help students finance their study, therefore, a real scholarship will not ask you to pay anything but maybe an application fee. This amount is usually very small and you should check that organization's website or other sources to make sure they are legitimate. The application fee should be waived if you contact the scholarship provider and state your financial difficulties.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Scholarships and Grants

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