Looking for college scholarships is a stressful process not only for students, but for parents as well. Since the cost of higher education is at an all-time high, getting scholarships now is more important than ever before. Here’s a general guide to scholarships:
Importance of scholarships
College is a life-changing experience that influences economic mobility, job prospects, and quality of living. Unfortunately, financing this crucial experience is becoming more and more challenging, as tuition continues to rise 4%-8% every year. Now more than ever, it is important to seek scholarships to discover different sources of financing for your child’s higher education journey. Three out of four graduates are walking away with $30,000+ of debt that they will carry (on average) for 22 years. In order to set your child up for financial success, you should be encouraging them to apply for scholarships as soon as (and even before) they have an acceptance letter. Luckily, we are here to guide you through this process!
What are Scholarships?
First you need to understand what a scholarship is, and why your child should be applying for them.
A scholarship is a financial gift that helps students pay for a college education. Scholarships are granted by different entities, such as:
- Higher education institutions
- Non-profit organizations
- Religious organizations
- The government
- Private companies
College scholarships can be awarded based on academic achievement, demonstrated skills, written essays, community service, etc. Scholarships are also granted based on gender, ethnicity, or a chosen major. The dollar amount of scholarships varies extremely, but one thing is the same for all of them: they help relieve the financial pressure caused by college tuition fees. Scholarships are NOT loans that need to be repaid. They are gifts that decrease the out-of-pocket costs for your child’s degree program, which is why it is imperative that your student is actively seeking them.
The Scholarship Application Process
In order to support your child with the college scholarship process, you need to understand how the system works. The first steps can be difficult and overwhelming, but it gets easier once you get the hang of it.
First of all, you need to prepare. Since most of the scholarships are based on merit or demonstrated skill, your child needs documented proof of achievements and experience. Analyzing these details will come in handy during essay writing and interviews. Additionally, these documents will strengthen the application. Based on this information, you can determine what kinds of scholarships are suitable for your child.
- Collect the Documents
After initial research, you need to collect the necessary documents and start searching for college scholarships. Applying to as many scholarships as possible is the key to success. Scholarships are a numbers’ game. The more you apply for, the better your chances. Remember there are no limitations. Start researching the scholarships with your target colleges. Many colleges offer scholarships and assist prospective students with other scholarship opportunities. Once you collect data on available scholarships – prioritize. You can start organizing the list by identifying high-value scholarships.
Once you have identified scholarships suitable for your child, you can start the application process. Your kid needs to make sure that the application is unique. To help your kids make their applications stand out, check out our article about writing applications. One of the most important steps of the application is writing inspirational essays, and preparing for interviews.
One thing is clear: college scholarships take time and a lot of work. It’s an overwhelming process that is overly complicated. Applicants have to send the same documentation to numerous entities and this process is not only tiring but quite unnecessary. They have to individually look for unique programs and undergo their unique application process. Because you have to apply for so many different scholarships, you might make many mistakes in the process. There’s a high chance of missing the relevant scholarships or messing up the documents. In order to save students and their parents from this exhausting process, we came up with a solution.
Scholarful – Fastest way to apply for scholarships
Scholarful is the all-in-one, one-stop shop for scholarships— built by students, for students. With this platform, students can fill out 1 application online that is widely accepted by thousands of scholarship providers. After creating a profile, your child will be able to see all the scholarships they are applicable for (based on their characteristics) and 1-Click Apply for those opportunities! Through Scholarful, your kids can save valuable time and concentrate on their studies. We provide a system that guarantees a stress-free application process for students, as well as their parents.
Finding a scholarship is not a one-time event. This is an ongoing process that continues until the last year of student’s studies. Keep searching for different scholarships. The key is to stay motivated and apply for as much as possible!