SCHOLARSHIPS

TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID
WAYS TO PAY FOR COLLEGE
SCHOLARSHIPS

Millions of dollars are awarded each year in private scholarships. Scholarship searches can be huge research projects but it can be well worth your efforts when you get money that does not need to be repaid for college. Reducing your borrowing need is always recommended and scholarships can help!

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DIFFERENT COLLEGES DEFINED
TYPES OF COLLEGES

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TYPES OF SCHOLARSHIPS

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INSTITUTIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS

Many colleges now offer some type of merit scholarship. Merit scholarships are most often awarded based on certain academic requirements such as GPA, SAT scores, class rank, etc. or may be awarded for some other talent. When inquiring about merit aid, you should ask the following questions:

    • What types of scholarships do you offer and what are the dollar amounts?

    • What are the criteria for the scholarships?

    • If I meet the criteria, am I guaranteed to get one?

    • What do I need to do to keep the scholarship?

PRIVATE SCHOLARSHIPS

Many businesses, community organizations, and foundations award scholarships. These scholarships may be awarded based on need, merit, or some other criteria such as residency or course of study. You must search for and apply for these opportunities on your own. You never know what you will be eligible for unless you look! 

LOCAL VS NATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS

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LOCAL SCHOLARSHIPS

Scholarships are not only for straight-A students and exceptional athletes. Many scholarships in Rhode Island are awarded based on need and for other varied requirements. Certain organizations offer scholarships to children of their employees, some scholarships are provided to members of religious affiliation or minority groups while other scholarships are awarded to students who have financial needs.

Searching for local scholarships is a great way to help pay for college. Local scholarship awards tend to be less than their national counterparts, but they are often much easier to get since there are usually fewer applicants.

NATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS

National scholarships don’t have a residency restriction so applicants are not required to live within a specific geographical area to be eligible.

Instead of location, providers use other criteria such as gender, degree program, GPA, military affiliation, ethnicity, etc. to select their recipients. Sometimes, it’s just as simple as being a current student.

As you can imagine, some of these programs receive hundreds, or thousands, of applications. If it’s a large program, they may be offering more than one award. National scholarships tend to be easier to find. They’re often offered by large companies or national associations so they have the resources to promote their programs via the internet and marketing campaigns.

SCHOLARSHIP TIPS

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ASK EVERYONE

If you are looking for college scholarships, talk to everyone (and we mean it: not only friends and family, but also consider talking to neighbors, the postman, minister, etc.) – about your scholarship search. Ask them to check with their employers, churches, clubs, and organizations. Make sure your guidance counselor knows you are interested in scholarships; a lot of scholarships come from guidance nominations. Cast a wide net.

LOOK EVERYWHERE

Look in the obvious places like the guidance department, local libraries, local newspapers and on the Internet. But also check out retail establishments, churches, community centers, local newspapers and trade publications. Treat the search as a treasure hunt. 

BE DILIGENT

Your search can take a lot of research, so stick with it. You can’t accomplish it all in one day. It’s better if you devote a small amount of time (15-30 minutes) two or three times a week just looking for scholarships. Over the course of a few months you will probably be able to get more done and you won’t get as frustrated. Stay focused on your goal and required deadlines.

FOLLOW UP & FOLLOW THROUGH

These are two critical tips because good opportunities can go right out the window if you don’t do what you’re supposed to. Don’t lose out on money because you didn’t return a call, submit an application, or missed a deadline. Do the work!

SCHOLARSHIPS TIPS

WINNING SCHOLARSHIPS

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We have a handful of tips that can help you boost your chances of receiving a scholarship to pay for college.

APPLY FOR LOCAL SCHOLARSHIPS

Local scholarships tend to have less applicants, leaving you with better odds of winning the scholarship.

APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP WITH SMALLER AWARDS

Students tend to focus on the awards with a bigger dollar amount, leaving the smaller award scholarships with fewer applicants.

SATISFY ALL THE REQUIREMENTS

If you leave a question blank or don't answer the essay question, then you're at risk of disqualification. Make sure to go through your application multiple times to make sure you answered the questions correctly.

PUT IN THE WORK

Don't be lazy, put in your best effort.


 

DON'T EXCEED WORD LIMIT

Stay within the requirements of the application; don't subject yourself to possible disqualification just for exceeding the word limit.

PROOFREAD ESSAY

How embarrassing would it be to send in an essay with simple typos and grammar errors? Ask a family member or friend to proofread it for you to eliminate any possible errors.

MEET THE DEADLINE

Waiting until the last minute is not in your best interest. You don't want to log on to submit your application to find out that you're having a computer issue.

APPLY TO MULTIPLE SCHOLARSHIPS

Don't rely on just one application; fill out as many as you can to the best of your ability. You raise your chances of receiving a scholarship when you apply to multiple.

SCHOLARSHIP MYTHS

Many myths continue to prevent students from pursuing their chance at receiving free money.

SCHOLARSHIPS MYTHS

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Many myths continue to prevent students from pursuing their chance at receiving free money.
MYTH

It is not true that only student athletes, low-income students, and brainiacs can win scholarships! There are many programs that give out money that have different eligibility requirements. 

INVESTMENT

Finding scholarships that you qualify for is time-consuming,  but the reward can make it a very good investment of time. The more scholarships you apply for, the better your odds!

BE AWARE OF SCHOLARSHIP SCAMS

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Scholarship scams do in fact exist. Be cautious and look for the signs to protect yourself. If you find yourself encountering a "donor" telling you to process your application or any of the following steer clear.

AVOID SCHOLARSHIP SCAMS

Scholarships are typically awarded directly to the school in your name and/or are made co-payable to you and the school.  When one of the following is requested or promised, proceed with extreme caution or avoid it altogether.

  • They need credit card or bank account information.

  • They tell you that the scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.

  • They tell you that you can't get this information anywhere else.

  • They tell you that they will do all of the work.

  • You've randomly been selected to receive a $X, XXX scholarship.

BE CAUTIOUS

Don't get discouraged, there are plenty of free ways to look and apply for scholarships. Always do some research on the scholarship to which you are applying, never send in money, and be cautious of offers that seem too good to be true.


RISCHOLARSHIPS.ORG
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