Scholarships are gifts of money that you don’t have to pay back. They can be offered by colleges or other outside organizations (i.e. the Elks Lodge, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, religious groups, charities, etc.) and donors. Some scholarships are merit-based, meaning they are awarded based on academic achievement or accomplishments. Others are based on extra-curricular involvement or leadership. Others are even based on financial need.
When it comes to scholarships, it is important for students to…
- Check deadlines. Deadlines for scholarships vary between different colleges and organizations. It is important that students check with the sources of the scholarships they are interested in applying for in order to not miss out on them.
- Apply for everything you might be eligible of receiving. You never know until you try. You might pick up an extra $500!
- Talk to your high school counselors. Your high school counselors are great resources for scholarships that might be offered in your community. Ask them to help you in the application process and to proofread any essays or résumés you may have to write.
- Only use free scholarship search engines. You should NEVER have to pay money to apply for a scholarship. We encourage you to check out engines such as Fastweb, FinAid, ScholarshipExperts, Super College Scholarship Search, Scholarship Hunter, and more.
- Be familiar with scholarship tips when using scholarship search engines. The Missouri Department of Higher Education offers great tips for students who are applying for scholarships.