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How to Get a Scholarship

Scholarships are tricky things. Everyone wants one. Few people get them. Apparently, there are millions out there that go unused on an annual basis. Because scholarships differ from loans in that they are free money, they are coveted beautiful things. They are also brilliant resume boosters and look fantastic on any resume.

Now, there are so many types of scholarships, it helps to be abreast of the types, time ranges, amounts, and places to find them. Some high schools give away scholarships prior to attending college. Some scholarships are merit based, others need based, others interest based, other cultural based. The list goes on.

The best way to begin seeking scholarships is to do your research. Every college and university will have a dowry with various scholarships. Usually they will be listed on the school's website; however, you can always inquire as to their prevalence. When you learn about them, you can find out how much, many, and reasons behind them. Essentially, scholarships don't usually just get handed to you (although some lucky people do find this fortuitous world). You must do your research.

Here are some types of scholarships.

  1. Merit Scholarships
  2. Scholarships typically revolve around this type of award. People who excel in academics are awarded a scholarship on the basis of their overall academic achievement. This may come in the form of top GPA, excellent SAT scores, and so on. These are highly competitive and may come in various forms.

  3. Need-Based Scholarships
  4. This type of scholarship is given purely on financial means. They are designed to fund the less-fortunate students in their academic pursuits. Scholarship committees look at various reasons for this hardship: Parents' income, number of siblings in school simultaneously, expenses, cost of living, etc.

  5. Athletic Scholarships
  6. Scholarships are popularly given to star athletes by universities to recruit them for the athletic teams. Many athletes complete their education free of charge, but also pay the price of overworked team sports. Usually full-scholarship athletes are recruited by "scouts" while in high school. You don't usually pursue this type of scholarship; it is given to you.

  7. School-Based Individual Scholarships
  8. Every school offers specific scholarships relevant to specifics from the university: donors, individual name scholarships, personal scholarships, and so on. Sometimes you have to apply directly to the scholarship, and other times, just by being accepted, you are placed in the bowl for possible scholarship awards.

  9. Full/Partial Scholarship
  10. Many people look at scholarships as a whole and think that they sometimes cover everything. If you are lucky enough to receive a full scholarship, then yes, they cover living, books, and tuition. However, many scholarships are partial, meaning they may cover simply living, simply books, or part of the tuition. If you are awarded any type of scholarship, take it and run! They are prized, wonderful gifts, and you should feel honored to receive one.

While several scholarships are school based, others are based on almost every other personal element that can exists. Several websites and books are designed purely for the existence of finding scholarships. Here are some websites and books that serve as search agents and listings of all the scholarships that exist. If you try hard enough, you are likely to find at least one or two that match your interests and qualifications. It takes much patience and time, but you are bound to find a scholarship for you.

Websites:

Books:

  • How To Go To College Almost For Free by Ben Kaplan
  • The Scholarship Scouting Report: An Insider's Guide to America's Best Scholarships by Ben Kaplan
  • The College Board Scholarship Handbook 2004: All New Seventh Edition by Joseph A. Russo
  • Winning Grants: Step by Step, 2nd Edition by Mim Carlson
  • Scholarships, Grants, and Prizes, 2004 by Peterson's
  • Complete Idiot's Guide to Financial Planning for College by David Rye