Merit plus Need Scholarships: Awards based on academic performance, personal achievement, and financial need.
Private Scholarships: Awards based on criteria set by a private, non-affiliated organization or individual.
Institutional Scholarships: Awards based on criteria set by the college or university. These awards can be merit based or plus need based.
Be Cautious of Scholarship Scams
The following are signs of a possible scholarship scam:
- If you are required to pay money to get a scholarship
- If you are guaranteed win a scholarship
- If they say, “everyone is eligible” or “free money”
- If you are contacted for a scholarship you never applied for
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For more information on scholarship scams, visit: http://www.finaid.org/finaid/scams.html.
Scholarship Application Timelines
Applying for many scholarships can be done during any time of the year. However, different awards have different deadlines. For institutional awards, the deadlines are typically early Spring. You should check with your college or university to see what their established deadline is. Regardless, if you are late applying for an award one year, you should note the award and make every effort to reapply next year.
Tips for marketing yourself for a scholarship
Develop a great personal statement or essay
The essay is your ultimate communication tool-make a great impression. Think about this question: What makes you worthy of an investment as a student? Proofread, rewrite, and seek peer reviewers (writing is a process).
Develop a great academic transcript
Consistent academic performance is a good sign. A solid g.p.a. is desirable for most scholarships. A bad semester or year is not the end of the world—If you have overcome challenges, explain that in your personal statement. Otherwise, your application will be confusing to the evaluator.
Demonstrate evidence of leadership or service
Submit documentation of leadership, service, or character. Explain your situation and add flavor as to who you are as a person and aspiring student. Connect your personal story with your career or educational goal.