Scholarships are one of the best ways to pay for college. You can be awarded tuition money, or money to pay for other college expenses, that you won't have to pay back. Scholarships are ideal because you'll be able to focus on your studies, rather than try to work part time, and you won't have to worry about paying back loans.
But how do you land scholarships? With so many options out there, and so much competition, it can be tough to win scholarship money. There really is no silver bullet that will help you be awarded scholarship money, but there are a few strategies you can employ that will increase your chances.
Focus Your Time
Instead of just applying to every scholarship you find out there, focus your time on the ones that you are more likely to win. If you are musically inclined or if you are a straight-A student, spend more time applying for scholarships in those areas.
You should also focus your time on creating strong applications. If it looks like you are using a generic application form and aren't doing your part in researching and writing a special application for a scholarship, you probably won't be awarded the money. Focus your time on applying to scholarships in your niche and on filing out fewer, but stronger applications.
Analyze Your Odds
When more students apply for a scholarship, your chances of winning the competition go down. Therefore, if you apply for smaller, more targeted scholarships, your chances of being awarded tuition money increase.
Spend your time applying for local scholarships or scholarships for very specific groups of students. Or, look for scholarships that award more than one applicant. With these scholarships, you may not win first place, but you may be awarded some tuition money, which can help in the long run.
Know Your Limits
If you spread yourself too thin by applying to too many scholarships, it will show through on your applications. You won't look organized, and it may seem that you aren't dedicated or aren't that interested in the scholarship. Pick a few scholarships and put time and effort into applying for them. Only apply for as many scholarships as you think you can make a candidacy for.
Scholarships are an excellent way to pay for college. With some dedication, strategy and focus, you can increase your chances of winning some scholarship money.
About the Author
Jill Hardy writes for UniversitiesOnline.net, a resource that is dedicated to helping prospective students prepare for new careers by enrolling in online programs, from business to medical programs.