The Basics of Seeking Scholarships and Awards

About the Author: Nicholas J. Garcia aspires to become a cardiovascular surgeon. This summer he is performing cancer research at Northwestern University School of Medicine. Furthermore, he has started a chapter of an organization that provides medical relief to impoverished children around the world.

The Basics of Seeking Scholarships and Awards
The cost of attending a college or university has increased monumentally in the past decade. Many families and their prospective undergraduate students use cost as a major determinant in the selection process, which although inevitable, should not be emphasized as much due to the value of a quality undergraduate education. Nevertheless, the following are some of the basic guidelines that will aid in reducing the cost of college in the form of scholarships and awards.

Step 1: START EARLY Almost all scholarships require their applicants to differentiate themselves from the crowd so to speak. Find what you are passionate about and pursue it to the fullest, whether if would be volunteering at a hospital or running races for charity. Be creative, for this will help in the application process.

Step 2: BRUSH UP ON WRITING SKILLS If you are not an avid writer, you should definitely seek out someone who can help. Nearly all scholarships require an essay of some sort; some only use an essay as a means for selection. Therefore, and essay can make or break an application. Be sure that your writing is grammatically correct and that it includes your own personal style to set you apart from the other applicants.

Step 3: INTERVIEWING SKILLS Some scholarships require an interview as a determinant. For these interviews, it is important that you look professional so that you can make a positive impression. This does not mean that you have to go out and buy a suit or dress (unless you want to) but rather that you should have an assertive and confident disposition.

Step 4: TAP LOCAL RESOURCES Your school's library and counselor's office will likely have a wealth of knowledge for application processes as well as scholarship applications. These scholarships and awards are often easier to apply to due to the fact that you do not have to compete on the national level. Make sure to keep track of the application due dates so that you do not forget applications. It would be a great idea to compile a list of local scholarships along with their due dates so that you can check them off as you go along.

Step 5: GO NATIONAL OR INTERNATIONAL After you have sought out all local scholarships and awards, search for applicable national or international scholarships and awards. There are many useful scholarship search engines such as .

Final Words: Apply to as many scholarships and awards as possible so that you can maximize your profits. Remember that although you may have to work hard now, the money that you will make will relieve yourself and your family from the financial pressures of college.


courtesy of Saint Michael's College
© 2006 Ventures In Education, Inc.