Embarking on a college journey is a significant step towards personal and professional growth, but the financial aspects can often be a source of concern. Many students, however, may not be aware that the quest for financial support does not end with enrollment.
The opportunity to secure scholarships while in college is a viable and often overlooked avenue for mitigating educational expenses.
Uncover the secrets to unlocking scholarships and ensuring that your academic journey is not only enriching intellectually but also financially feasible.
Can You Get Scholarships While In College
Yes, it is possible to get scholarships while in college. Many scholarship opportunities exist for current college students, providing financial assistance based on various criteria such as academic achievements, leadership skills, community involvement, or specific fields of study. It’s essential for students to actively seek out and apply for these scholarships to help alleviate the financial burden of their college education.
College students can still apply for scholarships when they’re in school. Experts say some of the best places for students to search for scholarships include their school’s financial aid office or academic department.
“Professional societies will award scholarships to current college students who are majoring in their field to promote their industry or keep qualified individuals in their field,” says Thomas Jaworski, an independent educational consultant and founder of Quest College Consulting.
Why You Should Apply for Scholarships in College
Scholarships are an excellent source of college funding because they do not have to be repaid. Winning extra scholarships after you’ve begun school can help you fill financial gaps and lower your out-of-pocket expenses and borrowing. They can also assist you in paying for unexpected bills that you may not have anticipated.
Furthermore, there may be rewards for which you were ineligible when you first started applying for scholarships. Scholarships for students in a major you had not yet declared, for example, or scholarships for upperclassmen. If you don’t apply for them once you’re in college, you could be passing on free money.
Where to find scholarships for college students
Your school: In high school, the counselling centre is a first-line resource for scholarship intel. Once you’re in college, your school’s financial aid office fills a similar role. They should have information about local, national, or regional awards, as well as those only for students at your school.
Your academic department: An advisor within your department should also be able to direct you to scholarships intended for students in your major or field of study and will likely be a valuable resource on how to win one.
Large companies: Many large companies provide scholarships to their employees or the children of their employees, so it’s always a good idea to check with your and/or your parent’s employer about what they may offer. In addition to scholarships, look into tuition reimbursement programs.
Online search tools: You can use a free online search tool to help you find scholarships based on academics, hobbies and interests, family background, and more. To find ones for college students, filter the results for your current year in school.
How to find scholarships in college
Though a college student’s schedule can be hectic, making time to investigate and apply for scholarships can make a big impact. Winning even one or two scholarships per semester will rapidly add up. Students can seek assistance from their school’s financial aid office for assistance in balancing a college workload and finding time to submit scholarship applications.
The scholarship search can be intimidating at first, but there are several tools available to students to assist them in finding scholarships. Students may simply browse through hundreds of aid opportunities using online platforms like Bold.org, making the scholarship hunt considerably more straightforward. Students can uncover scholarships that are suited for them by searching by major or grade/education level.
Students might consider various forms of financial assistance. Some schools and universities provide financial help packages to their students; visit the financial aid office at your school to discuss your choices.
Financial aid advisers at your school can be of tremendous assistance in your hunt for scholarships, as individual universities frequently have connections to possibilities that are not available to the general public. As a result, enrolling for exclusive financial aid programmes through your university may help you win money by lowering your competition.
The financial aid office can also assist students in obtaining federal student funding, which can take the form of grants, work-study programmes, loans, fellowships, and other opportunities. Fill out the FAFSA if you want to receive government aid.
Increase your odds of winning scholarship money in college
Once you’re in college, you’ll have lots of demands on your time. Maximize the impact of your efforts by following these tips.
Continue applying: Set up a routine for yourself that allows you to search for and send in applications year-round. For example, maybe you devote an hour or two every Sunday night to scholarship applications.
Apply again: If there’s an award you think you’re perfect for but don’t get, try again the next year. You can apply for most scholarships as many times as you want as long as you remain eligible. Put a calendar reminder in your phone for a month before the next due date. And if you see something that you’re not quite eligible for, but maybe soon, set a reminder to revisit it at a later date.
Don’t ignore small scholarships: While it can be tempting to only go for the big fish, scholarships with bigger awards will be more competitive. Don’t overlook scholarships with smaller award amounts. Every bit helps, and a bunch of smaller awards can add up to a large amount.
Learn from past winners: Use your resources to learn what you can about previous winners. Often scholarship websites will list their winners’ bios. Read those and try to discern what made the winners stand out, such as their extracurricular activities. If you notice, for example, that several of the winners regularly volunteer, try upping your service hours.
Secure references: College professors can be an incredible resource for references. Impress them with your class performance and let them know you’d like a reference for a particular scholarship. Once you raise the subject, you might find out that your professor can give you advice on making your application stand out.
Search for renewable scholarships: These scholarships continue to pay awards every year or semester, as long as you continue to meet the requirements. Some may not automatically renew, so you’ll have to submit a renewal application each year, but it’s still easier than starting from scratch.
Winning scholarships while in college can help you pay for your expenses and even boost your post-grad connections. Apply for scholarships each year, even if you don’t win money the first time you apply.
What Types of Scholarships Are Available?
Forty-six per cent of students believe that scholarships are only available for individuals with exceptional grades or abilities, according to the Sallie Mae/Ipsos 2022 survey College Confidence: What America Knows About Paying for College. But there are many other types of college scholarships, including:
- Community service. Scholarships are available to students who give back to their communities, like those who volunteer at an animal shelter, participate in local cleaning efforts or host a fundraiser for a nonprofit. The Disabled American Veteran’s Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program, for instance, awards scholarships to students under the age of 21 who assist veterans in the community
- First-generation students. There are specialized scholarships for those who are the first in their family to attend college. For instance, the majority of scholarship finalists for California nonprofit QuestBridge‘s National College Match program are high-achieving, first-generation students from low-income backgrounds.
- Underrepresented groups. Some scholarships are awarded based on students’ backgrounds. The Gates Scholarship, for example, offers several awards annually to bachelor’s degree-seeking students who are Pell-eligible and from a minority group, which includes those who are African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander American or Hispanic American. Applicants should ideally also be in the top 10% of their high school class.
“There’s scholarships out there for everyone,” Peoples says. “I’ve seen scholarships out there for people who are tall, left-handed or enjoy skateboarding.”
How to apply for scholarships in college
The process of applying for college scholarships is quite similar to that of applying for high school scholarships. College students must still submit their personal information to demonstrate that they are eligible for the award. If an essay is needed, students must also write and submit a personal statement.
Students should make sure to follow the directions when submitting applications using online platforms. they are frequently able to submit both their profile and personal statement through their preferred online platform, eliminating the need for them to mail the information separately.
Students, on the other hand, may be able to find numerous funding alternatives through their university’s financial assistance office. In this instance, students should consult with the office’s administrators or advisers to learn about possible scholarships and how to apply for them. These options may require students to mail their application paperwork separately or have a financial advisor apply on their behalf.
The personal statement will most likely be similar to the personal statements that high school students are accustomed to writing. The personal statement, regardless of grade level, is merely a method for the donor to get to know the candidate.
Depending on the question or prompt for the personal statement, it may also be an opportunity for the applicant to highlight their abilities or academic achievements. This can help to boost the application as a whole by demonstrating that the applicant is intelligent, hardworking, and passionate.
As a result, the most crucial aspect of a personal statement, whether in high school or college, is to be real and authentic to oneself. Allow some of your personality and voice to shine through, and don’t be hesitant to open up and discuss experiences that shaped you.
Scholarships are not only possible, but also strongly promoted while in college. While many students feel that scholarships are only available to high school seniors, there are various possibilities available to current college students.
Scholarships are given for undergraduate and graduate students based on academic accomplishment, extracurricular engagement, or specialised fields of study. These financial aids can help to reduce the cost of student loans, promote educational ambitions, and recognise continued academic performance.
As a result, college students must actively seek out and apply for scholarships, as they can have a substantial impact on their educational path and future possibilities.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What types of scholarships are available?
There is a huge range of scholarship opportunities available for university students across the world, ranging from partial scholarships which cover some tuition fees, to full scholarships which cover the duration of your studies. The majority of scholarships cover tuition fees only, leaving students to cover their living costs.
2. Can I get a scholarship for graduate study?
Yes! Graduate scholarships to study abroad tend to be even more common than undergraduate scholarships, because universities and governments are often keen to attract highly skilled graduate students, often using graduate scholarships as an incentive.
3. Where do I go to find scholarship opportunities?
To find scholarships you are eligible for, it is advised to first look at the information provided by your chosen university. Funding information will be listed on the university’s website or in the prospectus, and this is also where you’ll find the relevant contact information should you have any questions about scholarship applications