Snhu Merit Scholarships – Earning a scholarship can reduce your financial aid loans and the cost of attending college. To be a contender for a scholarship, you must find someone who is eligible and meet the application requirements and deadlines. If you have the opportunity to include a scholarship essay, highlight your personal, academic, and professional accomplishments.
Whether you’re researching college applications or on your way to graduate school, deciding how you’ll pay for your education may be at the forefront of your mind.
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Scholarships, in particular, offer a great opportunity to finance your degree while reducing the amount of financial aid borrowed. Scholarships are considered prize money because they don’t need to be repaid, and you may be worth more than you think.
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Since scholarships are often offered through individual institutions, their application forms and deadlines vary. For this reason, it is very important to read the requirements for each scholarship you are interested in.
Knowing when to strike can make all the difference in your chances of winning scholarships. Although there are several application deadlines in the year preceding the award, there are also several rolling deadlines. You can apply at any time of the year.
You may be surprised to learn that you can apply for scholarships from a young age, with options for children and young adults. So, if you’re wondering how you’re going to pay for college, know that it’s never too early to start researching scholarships and submitting applications. If you’re already in college, it’s not too late to start the process.
To take full advantage of this financial aid option, you can apply for scholarships throughout the year and continue to apply throughout the years you are seeking college funding.
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There is no need to stop after getting a scholarship. “There is no limit to the number of scholarships awarded to a student,” said Donna Kamir, director of student financial services at Southern New Hampshire University () Global Campus. If you commit to the application process and are consistently selected by scholarship institutions, you can apply for multiple award scholarships for your degree program.
Scholarship availability also varies. Some are based on academic achievement and merit, while others are related to certain circumstances. Once you’ve established your application deadline, the next important step in reducing the cost of your education is knowing where to look.
With so many different types of scholarships, the wealth of choices can be overwhelming. Start by checking the college websites for the schools you’re interested in, then navigate to employee, community, federal, and institutional offerings. If you are currently employed, your company may offer employee scholarship opportunities.
“My recommendation is to spend a lot of time researching and applying for scholarships,” Kamir said. “The process takes time, but the effort is worth it if you can ease the accumulation of student loans.”
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Checking free, searchable scholarship databases will allow you to enter a variety of personal information, characteristics, and accomplishments to maximize your results.
Some free scholarship search resources include CareerOneStop, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
To be considered for a scholarship, you usually need to submit a formal application. But how do you increase your chances of being a scholarship recipient?
“Sell yourself,” said Kamir. You need to convince the readers of your application that you are worth the money they are gifting.
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How you do that depends on the application requirements. For example, need-based scholarships may ask you to submit financial information, and merit-based scholarships may request that you send your transcript. Many people have an essay that allows you to expand who you are.
“I would think of this essay like you would approach a job interview,” Camir said. This is an opportunity to showcase your interests, personal, academic and professional achievements.
“You can tell a lot about a person — what drives them, what motivates them — by what they do inside and outside of work/school,” Kamir said.
During your essay, you can tie together all of your current and previous experiences to help the application reader get to know you and the work you’ve done to get to this point in your life.
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“The goal is to get your scholarship (application) to the top of the pile; you want to stand out,” Kamir said. “The more details you add, the more you’ll stand out in the company.”
Just as you research an employer to prepare for a job interview, you need to understand the scholarship provider before applying. Knowing your audience and their values will help you organize your essay.
If you are asked to provide your transcript or grade point average (GPA) with your application, the scholarship awarding institution will take that into account when considering candidates, especially if you are applying for a scholarship that focuses on academic performance. .
Even if you’re not pursuing a merit-based scholarship, your GPA can indicate your academic drive and motivation, Kamir said. A high GPA is important to scholarship institutions; They want to make sure they financially support someone who is committed to succeeding in college.
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Not all scholarship applications ask for your GPA, or weigh it as much as other aspects of your application. “(Your GPA) is a factor to think about a lot,” Kamir said.
Some scholarships are awarded directly to your school, while others send the awarded amount directly to you. Ask questions once you’ve been awarded a scholarship to ensure the funds are properly used for your educational expenses, such as tuition or textbooks.
Regardless of how you were awarded funds, work with your school’s financial aid office to make sure any other award funds are properly arranged if needed. Any aid applied to your account cannot exceed the cost of attendance, and adding scholarship funds to your award will represent a reduction in other sources of aid. This reduction should be a significant celebration along with the scholarship you received, as the scholarship funds offset the need to take out additional student loans.
For example, if you receive a $1,000 scholarship, it will cover tuition for a 3-credit undergraduate course at Southern New Hampshire University.
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There are many scholarship options for current and soon-to-be college students. Taking the time to find the right options for you and applying with passion and precision is a great way to position yourself well among other applicants.
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Although more online schools are beginning to accept the FAFSA, many still do not. We’ll help you find the ones that do.
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