This is the time where high school seniors have already submitted their college applications, received their acceptance letters in the mail, and have even received some financial aid award letters from the college. This is also the time where many financial aid award letters have fallen short of what the senior student depicted in his mind and when a lot of students and parents contact me asking for my scholarship services.
If I’ve just described you, you aren’t the only one in this boat. Seniors everywhere are scrambling to get some last minute money for college before August rolls around and it is too late.
But before you and your senior student go on a wild “search and destroy” mission for all the scholarship applications that you can get your hands on, take a peek at these 3 Must Ask Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Fill Out a Scholarship Application.
**(Freshman, Sophomores, and Juniors, don’t rule yourselves out just yet. These 3 must ask questions will apply to you as well. You should start searching and applying for scholarships now so that you do not become a “panicking senior.”)
3 Must Ask Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Fill Out a Scholarship Application
1. Am I eligible for this scholarship?
Check the eligibility checklist on a scholarship first and make sure that you meet all the requirements. You don’t want to go through and fill out an entire scholarship application only to find out that you do not meet the minimal requirements listed for the scholarship application. Not meeting the minimum requirements for a scholarship will typically disqualify you. Example of minimum requirements are you have to have at least a 3.0 GPA or you have to reside in a certain area in order to apply for the scholarship.
2. Has the deadline already passed?
Check to see if the deadline for submission of the scholarship has passed. Scholarship judges will not take a single glance at your application if you submit it after the deadline has passed. It won’t matter how great your application is or how “perfect” a candidate you are for the scholarship. If the deadline has passed and you think you will be a great candidate, save the information about the scholarship for the next time the scholarship opens up and apply during that next year. If you are having a problem with keeping track of the scholarships that you would like to apply to, get a calender and mark the deadlines for each scholarship on it. Remember, with scholarships you always want to beat, not just barely meet deadlines.
3. Is this a highly competitive scholarship?
Highly competitive scholarships like the Ron Brown Scholarship, Coca-Cola Scholars Program, and Gates Millennium Scholars, are well known, highly publicized, and open to the nation; therefore will have a LOT of people applying to these scholarships. They have big award amounts that you can win, but they also have an extensive scholarship application that you will have to complete. Before you fill out the application, really think about how qualified you are the win that scholarship. Will you be able to compete with other students that are applying to this scholarship? If you think it might be a stretch, search for some of the local scholarships instead. These have smaller award prizes and less competition. (Remember small award prizes can definitely add up.) The local scholarships can be found at your school and in your community. You can ask a church that you are involved with or a local bank for the scholarship opportunities that they know of as well.
In the comments below, I would love for you to share which of the 3 must ask questions have been most helpful to you? Which part really hit home with you and why?
As always, thank you for reading and sharing!
Happy Scholarship Winning!