Parents and students alike know the importance of completing high school education, however, the prevailing economic conditions have made it difficult for many to complete their education due to lack of funds. If you are looking for financial aid to complete your education, then one of the options that you have is, applying for scholarships. The best thing about a scholarship program is that you do not have to repay the financial aid you receive.
One needs to apply for several scholarship programs offered by different organizations. It is advisable to apply for more than one scholarship as this will increase your chances of getting one. Business houses, nonprofit organizations and local church charities are some of the options that you have for applying for scholarships. People who are Internet savvy have an advantage as most scholarship applications are available online.
Understanding how scholarship programs work and their eligibility criteria is crucial to getting the reward. There are two main types of scholarship programs, Need-Based scholarships and Merit based scholarships. Need-Based scholarships favor students from low income families and merit based scholarships are for students who have a good academic record. So, make sure that you apply for a scholarship that suits you the best.
For need-based scholarship programs, you will have to produce income proof and bank statements of your parents. You should be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen to qualify for most of the scholarship programs. For Merit based scholarships, you will be required to submit your academic records to qualify for the program. Most programs will also need you to submit recommendation letters from academicians.
Application forms, deadline details, and the amount of reward will vary from one scholarship program to another. The reward amount may range anywhere between USD 500 to USD 20,000, so make sure you do proper research before applying. Students involved in community development projects and activities stand a better chance of qualifying for the reward. Many scholarship programs also award students who display leadership qualities, so make sure you highlight this trait.
A Few Useful Tips
Students looking for financial aid for supporting their high school education should practice writing essays as most programs require applicants to write an essay. Try and maintain a good grade point average (GPA) in your school work as it is one of the distinguishing characteristics of an application. Make sure you fill the complete application form and don't leave out any information, however irrelevant it may sound to you. Proofread you application before you submit it, you will be surprised to know that a large percentage of applications are rejected for silly mistakes.
Keep all the documentation ready before you start applying, financial statements, academic records, photo ID, recommendation letters, personal achievement certificates, etc. One of the resources for information on scholarships is the school counselor, so talk to them and find out which scholarship program qualifies you the best. Dedicate some time for research on the Internet and look into the eligibility criteria of the scholarships.
Here are a few scholarship programs that you could try.
- Signet Classics Scholarship
- Bank of America Scholarships
- American Planning Association High School Essay Contest
- National Youth Education Summit
- Coca-Cola Scholars Program
- Toyota Community Scholars Award
- AFSA High School Essay Contest
- Walt Disney Company Foundation Scholarship
- The Fountainhead Essay Contest
- National Vocabulary Competition
When it comes to applying for scholarships, time is of essence as every scholarship has an application date and deadline for submissions. Apply for as many scholarships as you can, if you get the reward, it will be well worth the effort.