Are Scholarship Applications Worth Your Time?
A common misconception is that it is hard to win scholarships. Many people believe that if they are not at the top of their class, no one with money for aspiring students will be interested in them. The truth is that most high school seniors qualify for a wide range of scholarships and even though good grades certainly help, they are not detrimental to the process of receiving free money. Many scholarships are need-based, talent-based and major-based, rather than merit-based. Sometimes even your location and family will determine your eligibility. So of course the answer to “are scholarships applications worth your time” is a resounding “YES!”
Here are some blocks that often come up when considering the importance of applying for scholarships:
Writing is not my strong suite, so who is going to give me a scholarship?
Not every scholarship application features an essay element. In fact, a simple Google search for scholarships without essays will narrow the search for you. But for the other scholarships that require an essay, get someone to edit your work or have someone tutor you. This is a very small price to pay for the potential of hundreds or even thousands of dollars towards your education. The potential to receive free money is always with some extra time spent on the process. One cannot think heavily on the prospect of failing, but rather on the prospect of succeeding.
Many scholarships are small, so what’s the point?
Some scholarships are only worth $100 to $500, or $500 to $1000. That may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the monster fee of four years in university. But imagine if you won four of these; that is a whole semester or even a year. The fact of the matter is that when you have only $20 to spend on groceries for the week in the last days of your semester, you are going to wish you had won that little $500 scholarship. EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS.
There is too much competition.
Yes this is true. There are a lot of people vying for that free money. However, students apply to scholarships in bulk and are not taking the time to follow the rules and answer the instructions and questions carefully. You will find that if you do everything correctly you will most likely be a part of that small group that is seriously considered.
I am not a minority with strong financial need.
Yes a lot of the scholarships out there are geared towards minorities, those with disabilities and strong financial need. But there are many out there that do not take those things into consideration; they are just not as heavily advertised. Filling out profiles on scholarship websites will provide you with a comprehensive list and allow you to mass-apply for those that will take you seriously.