Scholarship Information for Students
Start your learning process, and scholarship applications process early--do not wait until the senior year!
This series of pages are dedicated to information about scholarships, the scholarship application process, and other pertinent information related to the scholarship process for high school students.
Although scholarships are normally awarded to high school seniors, students should start to research scholarships in order to begin their scholarship application learning process since the 10th Grade.
It takes time to build a good database of knowledge about the scholarship process, and students should not procrastinate, to leave the application process to the "last minute" or the last semester of the senior year. In fact, many scholarship deadlines are in the month of August prior the fall semester of the senior year!
Sophomore students should begin learning about which colleges or universities that they might be interested in attending. Make that college/university list first. What are you going to study? What is going to be your major and minor? Visit the website of each college or university for which you will be applying. Check out what is available from those colleges and universities first.
Students of course, have to plan to keep good grades in high school in order to be competitive in the scholarship process. The higher your grade point average, the better. You should strive to get the highest grade point average that you can. If you can get a 4.0 GPA or better, great. Students should strive for no less than a 3.25 GPA. You can still get scholarship with lower grades, but it will be much more difficult. The competition is very high.
Apply for multiple scholarships, not just a few.
I have met students that have succeeded in receiving over $100,000.00 in scholarship and grant money. Some students even have been awarded close to $250,000.00 in scholarships. Again, a high GPA is important. Also important are a good resume, community service, extracurricular activities, concurrent enrollment, etc. Most students make the mistake of applying for just a few scholarships, say 1-5 scholarship applications. The students that acquire a lot of scholarship money are the ones that apply for 50 to 200 scholarships! Getting a lot of scholarship money is basically a function of statistics. The statistics favor you if you apply for many scholarships and grants. Many things can affect your scholarship application process and eligibility. If your family has a very high income, you might only qualify for merit scholarships, on the other hand, if your family has a very low annual income, you may qualify for merit scholarships, need based scholarships, pell grants, etc.
The first thing to do is to fill out a FAFSA form. Have your parents or a high school counselor or both help you fill out the FAFSA application form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). There are FAFSA application forms online. Just find a form using Google or other search engine. Fill out the form and remember to save a copy on your computers' hard drive every few minutes so that you do not lose your work in case of a computer malfunction, web malfunction, or power outage. You can also take time to work on your FAFSA form over several days or a week or so to get your FAFSA application just right. Then submit it electronically or by hard copy or both---whatever is required or allowed.
Next, go to the website of each college, and university that you are interested in attending. Apply for admission and fill out scholarship and grant application forms on their website. Make sure that you search for all the available scholarships, grants, etc. on each college and university website. Do not be shy or lazy; apply for a bunch of scholarships and grants. You see, when you are a high school student applying for college or university, you have a clean slate. You are starting new and fresh. If you wait one or two years after you graduate from high school, your chances are not as good. Sure there are still possibilities, but they really want you fresh out of high school.
Next: go to websites like FastWeb.com and fill out their membership form. There are many websites that compile your information and then use their computers and search engines to search the web for grants and scholarships that match your criteria. Every few days or so they will send you an email with information on potential scholarships for which you might quality. Be truthful in filling out the application. For instance, if you are not interesed in chemistry or being a chemistry major or minor, do not put that informtion in your membership profile. Put in only what you really like and really are interested in. That way you will be truly competive. Be careful with these websites. since they are free, they have a lot of popup advertising for school businesses. Stay away from those. Stick only to the grants and scholarships. After all you want free money in the form of grants and scholarships to pay for your schooling. You do not want to pay out of your pocket for these profit oriented businesses that offer one or two year degrees online, etc.
I will post more information soon.