An Introduction to College Scholarships

The old saying that ‘money makes the world go around’ is as true today as it was all those years ago when it was first coined and that is not always good news for many youngsters who are trying to get the funds together for a college education so that they can reach their potential and get a share of all that lovely money. Many young people today possess considerable skill but do not get the opportunity to develop their skill and reach their true potential. Fortunately, for many youngsters that is where scholarships come in.
Both scholarships and grants are designed principally for individuals who demonstrate particular talent or financial need and, of course many young people fall into both categories.
There are literally hundreds of scholarships available today and they vary widely in terms of the qualifications required for an award, the amount of money payable and the purpose to which that money may be put. Some scholarships will for example cover a wide range of expenditure including tuition, books and other course materials and housing. Other scholarships may only be used to pay for tuition fees. Similarly some scholarships will meet the full cost of tuition (and perhaps other costs) while others will be for a set amount or a percentage of covered costs. Finally, a scholarship may be awarded for an academic year or may cover an entire college course. One thing however is almost always true and that is that there will be conditions attached to the award of a scholarship.
As long as you are attending, or enrolled for, a college course you can apply for a scholarship and the application form will normally be quite extensive and will take some time and work to complete. This is also the hurdle at which many students fall because, with such competition for scholarship money, even a slight mistake on your application form can get it discarded without even being read. So, the first point to note is that you must read the instructions for the completion for your application very carefully and then follow them to the letter.
Your object in completing your application must be to give the awarding body a reason to award you the scholarship ahead of your fellow applicants and so you will need to think very carefully about just what you include in your application and what you leave out. You will also need to take great care to include all of your ‘good points’ and to paint yourself in the best light possible. The one thing that you must not do though is to lie. It is one thing to emphasize an achievement or accomplishment, but it is quite another to simply invent either. If you do lie on your application there is a very good chance that this will be discovered at some point during the selection procedure and your application will be thrown out immediately.
Remember too that, because competition is going to be fierce, it is a good idea not to put all your eggs into one basket and to apply for several scholarships rather than simply pin your hopes on one.
Funding a college education is not easy and most students will graduate with loan debt which will take years to pay off. Scholarship money however is free money and will not only make life at college much easier but will reduce your post-college debt burden considerably. For this reason you should not ignore scholarships. The time spent preparing half a dozen good scholarship applications can be some of the best time you will ever spend preparing yourself for college.