The best way to prepare for the inevitable stress caused by student loans is to apply for scholarships. Summer break is the best time to do so. Many students have succumbed to the tempting clutches of summer and are slumming the days away while scholarship deadlines ease closer at a steady pace. It is time to utilize the break to shave off $1000 or more of tuition.
Which scholarships are applicable?
First, students must figure out which scholarships are applicable to them. Scholarships cover a wide range of characteristics such as race, major, minor, sports, veteran status, disability, etc. There are so many scholarships available that there is little to no chance that a student will be ineligible in one of the categories. Determining which scholarships are applicable is very simple, but finding them can be a difficult task.
Where are they found?
The easiest way to find scholarships is to search for them online. A student can search “scholarships for” and type whatever category applies to him/her after. This method works, but it is not completely efficient. Using certified scholarship searching websites is a lot better. These sites have very specific searching methods to find the most appropriate scholarships based on one’s characteristics.
Scholarships can also be found through one’s school website. The University of Illinois’ website has long lists of scholarships separated by each major the university offers and the amount of monetary help one requires to attend.
Certain companies have the potential to offer scholarships as well. Xerox offers a minority scholarship worth $10,000. Other companies that offer scholarships include McDonald's, Dell, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. These corporate scholarships and more are ripe for the taking.
What if these methods don’t work?
If these tips do not work in a student’s favor, then word-of-mouth is always an option. Speaking to guidance counselors, friends, and family can be beneficial.
Try some of these tips, and don’t give up after searching for a few. The next step is to write essays and create bios for the scholarships, but that will be covered later.