When it comes to scholarships grants the saying applies to students – the early bird gets the worm.
Yes, those students who start to apply earlier may run across more student financial awards then those who wait.
It’s really a time thing.
Counselors & the experts agree that the earlier you start sniffing around for grants & scholarships the better chance you have to stumble across money for college. Many students wait until their senior year to start looking.
Start earlier; like in your Junior year!
This can result in HUGE scholarships & grants payout to you.
In the beginning of searching for scholarships and grants, students start to get a feel of what they should be doing and over some time start to get it. They will learn to weed out; or ignore some grant scholarship offerings simply because they will know from past application experiences that they will not fit in the guidelines to have a chance at winning the awards. They then will move on and save valuable time to apply to those opportunities they are best suited for.
Valuable Time Saved!
Let me give you some examples of things to watch out for when applying.
Watch Out for the Pitfalls of Scholarships Grants
There are tons of scholarship awards that are state specific. In other words students can only apply to them IF they live in that state!
You may also have guidelines/restrictions for applying to be: Students must be residing in a particular County, City or high school before a student can be able to apply.
Many scholarships grants are only for those students who have ONE semester under their belt in college before they can apply! This means you must have attended college already before applying. If you’re a senior in high school you will not be able to apply; but many high school seniors fall prey to this restriction!
It works in reverse too!
Many Grants, scholarships REQUIRE students to be a SENIOR in high school to apply. This is a big one. Many scholarships & grants have that requirement, so beware!
You also have to watch out for applying to scholarships that require to be majoring in a SPECIFIC field of study ie…engineering, math, biology etc. in order for students to apply! So if students apply to the award they must be majoring in it.
This is widespread on scholarship offerings!
If you are majoring in the award they are offering by all means apply to them!
Another sneaky one is that students who apply must show financial need for many educational student aid awards. I say sneaky because many of these indicate that “preference will be shown to those applicants who can demonstrate financial need”. My suggestion is IF you know that you have financial need – then apply. But if you don’t move on to some thing else. The key word here is PREFERENCE. What this means is IF they cannot find an applicant who has financial need, then yours will be considered. By any means just move on to some other awards to apply to because there isn’t a shortage of student aid awards and you most likely will be wasting your time applying for it.
Also; watch out for when many of the above restrictions are bundled together which will make applying for them even more restrictive. For example you may have an award state that students who apply must reside in a particular state, show financial need, be majoring in a particular field of study, live in a certain city within that state and have already attended college one semester (or be a senior in high school).
This is really restrictive and it rules out a heck of lot of students who CAN apply to them, but, this is what students will see over and over, and they will spend many hours reading over these types of restrictive student scholarships or grants.
This is why it’s best to apply to the easier scholarships & grants firstly.
What do I mean by easier scholarships?
Easier scholarships are just plain easier to get all the way around. They are easy to apply to first off. Most you go apply online to do it and submit your application. Secondly they are easier because you can apply to them quickly and there are no drawn out things to accumulate – just standard stuff you can send in later ie. small essay; just ONE letter of recommendation and not three. Just a few things and you’re done applying.
Also the biggest reason why an easy scholarship is easy?
Its easier to win because it may usually have many awards given out to many students each and every year.
These are the awards to apply to FIRSTLY!
Any statistical major will tell you that your odds increase dramatically by having multiple awards then only one.
I would not apply to any scholarship; unless I match up to their guidelines unbelievably well IF there was only one award to be given.
Let me give you an example.
The Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarships gives out over 300 scholarships every year in just the state of Pennsylvania. They also dole out tons more in all the other states throughout the US because this is a federally funded educational award which each state handles in their own way based on their restrictions of how many they are allotted yearly – which is a lot!
It is plain to see that students who apply in just the state of Pennsylvania have greater chance of receiving an award because so many are given out; as opposed to other awards who only select ONE winner.
Another example of high yearly total number of scholarships grants passed out is from Intel. They give out over 300 every year. The statistics say students have a better chance to win one then just one award offered and you may have the same number of students apply to both!
Still another place who is generous with their awards is the Elks National Foundation who hands out an impressive 500 of 4-year easy scholarships & grants. This is nothing short of staggering and one clearly sees how applying to them would be exciting because of the high chance odds of winning!
Scholarships Grants Master Advice Conclusion
Students should start their scholarship search early and apply to those with high yearly awards and only apply to the others if your qualifications highly match up to their guidelines; otherwise you may be wasting your valuable time that can be spent on productive student financial aid searching and applying. Student time is valuable and must be spent doing things right the first time around rather than constantly spinning your wheels on dead ends such as awards you have very little chance of getting.
Work smart not hard and avoid the dead ends that only lead to lottery style promising awards which 99.9% of students will never win!