Scholarship is an ideal way to get free money to pay for education. But even among students with good grades, a small minority considers applying for it. Some think it is too difficult; others erroneously believe there is none for their major. Yet this is not really the case; regardless of your academic condition there may be a scholarship waiting for you.
This article describes the most common misconceptions about scholarships, and most importantly, tips to apply to succeed in your scholarship search. Here are 5 most common myths about scholarships:
1 – Social Engagement or Leadership
While some organizations may regard active social participation as an essential standard; it is not always the case. This misconception is widespread because it is the main selection criterion for certain large organizations. There are several institutions that define social commitment as one of their selection criteria while others find it unimportant. Therefore, if you are not socially engaged, you can still get a scholarship.
2 – Gifted and Talented Students
This misconception that a student must be gifted or talented to receive grants is widely spread among high school graduates and college students. Yet this is not true. If we consider the number of entities that award grants, only a small percentage offer merit-based scholarships. The institutions that fund these programs have different criteria for choosing a candidate: family’s occupation, racial background or origin of the applicant, major (field of study), etc… When searching for a scholarship, it is useful to read the description or the requirements of the donor.
3 – Very Few Scholarships Are Available
The problem with most students they tend to go after the big names such as coca-cola and university foundations. Only the largest scholarship donors are widely known, and most students target them. Those institutions receive 1000s of the applications while many other donors barely get a few applicants. From medical students to aspiring architects, interior designers and engineers, there are nearly 10,000 foundations and organizations that grant scholarships in the United States. A general verdict on the eligibility of a person is therefore not possible.
4 – Too Many Applicants
“Too many people apply for scholarships; I will be rejected”, many people say. In their scholarship search, many students tend to apply for best-known programs because the donors are popular while small institutions often complain of not having enough candidates to meet their funding amount. The technique is to take time to search the programs that best fit your condition and apply for them instead of chasing the big names.
5 – Financial Disadvantage
Some people believe only students who are experiencing financial disadvantage are qualified to get a scholarship. This misconception is widespread among students in the entire country. As result, a great majority of them get discouraged to apply. While some programs aim to help students in need, others have different goals, for example, promote a profession or provide special support to students of a specific neighborhood. All colleges in the country have these financial programs. Make sure you seek for these opportunities, even if you come from a wealthy background.
Now thanks to the widespread of the internet, it is easy to find plenty of websites that offer scholarship search service completely free of charge. Some may require you to open an account. Once you do so, you can search all their database and apply for the programs best suitable to your academic condition.
As they say, the losers are those who never try. There is nothing embarrassing if you apply the first time but fail. You will learn something to increase your chance for the next applications. Surely you will win if you apply the right tips and follow the recommendation of the donors. You can use the money for the costs of everyday life: buying books, real estate, transportation, foods, and others. Good luck in your scholarship search.
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