Consider Applications and Requirements Individually
No two scholarship applications are identical. The work that you have to put in to complete those applications is as diverse as the scholarships being offered. At the scholarship-savvy FastWeb site, for example ( www.fastweb.com), students can register their unique student profile free of charge and find information on hundreds of scholarships, internships, and grants. The profile asks questions that, once submitted, are compared with the criteria for thousands of scholarships. Those that come back as matches are then compiled and listed on the student's account. However, because many scholarships have multiple eligibility requirements, you will not qualify for all the matches that your search returns. It will take a lot of time and perseverance, whether you work online or by more old-fashioned methods (such as the library), to find scholarships that are completely suited to your needs.
They All Take Time
Students and parents should expect to spend a certain amount of time and effort searching out and applying for scholarships. As a student, you must also understand that there is a good possibility that you will have to write a different essay every time you apply for a new scholarship.
Be sure to make of copies of all your scholarship applications, as well as your scholarship essays, and keep them in a folder. Sometimes you can modify these essays and applications and make them work for more than just one scholarship application. Chapter 7 explains in detail how to put together a winning scholarship application.
Is online scholarship application easier?
Simply put—no, not really. All kinds of scholarships are available online for students of all backgrounds, abilities, interests, and needs. However, when you find a scholarship that you are eligible to apply for, you should still be prepared to compile the necessary information.
Are You Eligible?
As you begin to search through scholarship application forms, you may find some with long or detailed lists of eligibility requirements. Do not let the detailed criteria of a scholarship discourage you; instead, fill out an application for anything that remotely seems to fit you or your student. Even if a scholarship application lists both merit- and need-based criteria, the selection committee might weigh one factor much more heavily than the other. A scholarship applicant who is not exactly stellar academically (meaning a GPA of less than the almighty 4.0) with verifiable financial need might be awarded a scholarship over a much more academically qualified applicant with less financial need, or vice versa. Applying for scholarships doesn't cost you anything, so if you think it's possible you might be considered, send in an application. You have nothing to lose and only money to gain.