Paying for college these days is proving to be more difficult than ever. Tuition costs even for a single semester could be in the thousands. The type of scholarship you will be eligible for will depend a lot on what type of student you are--and plan to be. To find scholarship applications, be sure to try the following suggestions.
Go to the career offices of either your high school, local community college or university. Career offices are generally run by educational or career counselors who will have a lot of relevant information about scholarships and eligibility requirements. Theses offices are usually loaded with literally shelves of different types of scholarship applications and other relevant information about furthering your education.
Talk with a financial aid representative from the university you plan to attend. If the college is local, go there and find a scholarship billboard. Universities usually have large billboards right outside their financial aid offices with pages of scholarship information. Most will also clearly outline eligibility requirements, too. They will also have large lists of where to get your applications. Some scholarship applications can only be attained by petitioning a benefactor.
Fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application is generally filled out by anyone wishing to attend college. Unless you are rich, everyone who meets basic eligibility requirements will get this free grant money. Even if you believe you will not qualify, try to apply anyway. You might be eligible for at least a portion of your tuition (see Resources below).
Contact the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). Both the federal and state departments of education will have a huge amount of information you need to help you find scholarship applications. Scholarship opportunities between federal and state entities can range in the hundreds (see Resources below). All you need to do to qualify for a scholarship is demonstrate a viable need.
Talk to a private business. Many local private business have their own scholarship application and educational resources. They will help you only if you plan to major in a field of study that will ultimately help their business. If you plan to study engineering, contact a private engineering or architectural firm, for example.
When contacting a financial aid representative, be sure you talk to someone in charge. Too often, students who work in financial aid offices answer the phone and subsequently misinform callers. If you do not get answer you like, ask to speak with someone else. Call back in the event someone hangs up on you. Try never to take the first word of advice, either. Get multiple sources of information to find the scholarship application or other information you need.
Never exaggerate your financial need or misrepresent yourself in any way when filling out your scholarship application.
Vaughnlea Leonard started her professional writing and editing career in 2005. Her work has appeared in "Press Journal," "Atlantic Publishing Company" and "Hometown News and Florida Today." A former military police enlistee and Florida certified educator, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Central Florida.