Scholarships like grants need not be repaid. Some scholarships for US study are a blend of need and merit. But most of them are merit based. You have to get exceptional grades to avail the scholarships. Though, this is the best option but there are never enough of scholarships and grants.
Granting of a scholarship usually includes academic achievement and may or may not include financial need. Many scholarships emphasize other qualities, such as leadership, talent, and community service. This makes them accessible to a wide range of students, since there are many ways to qualify and there is an incredible range of providers.
Scholarships are available to the students but the big question is how to search them. You can check about various scholarships by contacting the financial aid office or public library or online. But you should be careful in order to avoid fraud and scams. Make sure scholarship information and offers you receive are legal. Do not pay anyone if they ask for money for giving information on scholarships.
One handy way to look for scholarships is to look within and outside of college. Inside the college are scholarships given or administered by the college. Outside the college are scholarships offered by everyone else, including companies, the military, foundations and organizations. Scholarships are also offered at the local and state level.
Tips for Scholarship Search
Almost all the colleges offer scholarships to talented and meritorious students. Besides the college there are other sources which need to be explored to get the scholarship. Some of them are listed below:
- Corporations, especially local businesses and your parents' employers
- Religious groups
- Your state grant agency
- Unions, a major source of scholarship money
- Chambers of Commerce, which can also help you search for other community sources
- Community and service organizations, many of which have state and local chapters
- Clubs, foundations, and associations, which can be based on heritage, professions, hobbies – you name it
- City, county, and state education offices
- Your high school or school district
Scholarships – Offered by Military
Through the ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) program, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps offer full scholarships (covering tuition, fees and textbooks). However, the student must agree to serve in the sponsoring branch of the military for a certain number of years after graduation. These scholarships are very competitive. They are not available at all colleges and may depend on your major. The military understandably favors majors that will benefit its mission, such as engineering or nursing.
TipEach branch of the military has its own ROTC program. You can get information on all of them at www.military.com/education.
When is the right time to apply for scholarships?
The mantra for applying for scholarships is that you should catch the early bird. Start applying once you have decided upon your course and college. You should complete your homework and all your research while at high school. Make sure you complete your application form without any error and meet the application deadline.