With the costs of a university education rising each year, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for high school students to fund their university degrees. Even if they receive help from their parents and work a full time job, they may not be able to cover tuition alone, being forced to take out loans from the bank.

However, if you qualify for a scholarship, you may not have to experience this issue. Scholarships range in size from a few hundred dollars to full compensation for your university costs. Here is what you need to look for when scholarship hunting to stay out of debt when you graduate. For more information, contact a student coach today to help you scholarship hunt effectively and land that dream scholarship.

Scholarships Come from a Variety of Sources

The possibilities to receive scholarships are practically endless. Scholarship requirements are as diverse the scholarships themselves, with potential scholarships available from the government, the colleges themselves, ethnic/cultural/religious organizations, social societies, private donors, and more. Although it is quicker to simply take out FAFSA financial loans, you really should research every scholarship that you are eligible for and apply. An experienced student coach will have many resources with which to help you find such scholarships.

Even if you do not think you will qualify for it, or you think some other prospective college student is more qualified than you, if no one else applies for the scholarship, it is pretty much yours. This may seem odd that no one else would apply for what is essentially free money but more than 2.9 billion dollars in scholarship aid to college students has not been claimed yet.

Suddenly, receiving a scholarship of 10,000 USD if you go to a state school, or 20-30,000 if you go to a private college for instance, seems like a much more realistic goal than you originally thought. A student coach can provide you with a realistic perspective on scholarship hunting and tuition reimbursement using a variety of sources and connections.

The Best Place to Search For Scholarships is Online

The Internet is at your fingertips and it is easier than ever before to search for scholarships. Many scholarship search engines exist to make your search easier, like College Board, College Net, Scholarships.com, Fastweb, and Scholarship Monkey. Join one of these sites and set up a profile. The site’s search algorithm will then compare your profile to their list of potential scholarships and match you with the ones you are eligible to apply for.

Older, Traditional Methods Work As Well

If your parents work for a corporation, the corporation may offer scholarships to the children of their employees. If a family member was in the military, you may be eligible for some scholarship money from the government as well. Various institutions of higher learning offer scholarships to low-income applicants, as well as needs-based scholarships. Other forms of scholarships may be merit-based, requiring you to maintain a certain GPA throughout college.

The only way to know for sure which scholarships apply to you, and which you can apply for, is to search for yourself. However, meeting with a student coach can help make your search easier based on your unique situation and background.

The Most Important Part: Starting Right Away!

With so much money available, and the numerous options you have to acquire funding, it may seem easier than it is to receive a scholarship. You may even want to delay the process until the last months or weeks before entering college. However, this is one of the worst things you can do if you are trying to secure funding.

Not only do many scholarships have submission deadlines, but the weeks and months prior to attending college are best used searching for a place to stay, becoming familiar with the campus and the surrounding areas, and making sure you are academically prepared to start attending college. A good student coach can create a detailed plan to fully prepare you for scholarship hunting, as well as the preparation required to ease your transition into college.

If you postpone your scholarship search until then you may find it more difficult to receive scholarships. The best time to start is as soon as you possibly can. Do not worry if you do not hear back instantly from those offering scholarships. Staffers often have to read through hundreds of applications to determine who ultimately receives it. That takes time.

Instead, pride yourself on completing your submission and apply to another scholarship in the meantime. You will not receive every scholarship you apply for but you will not receive any that you do not apply for.

Consider Working Part-Time While in School

Some employers, regardless of whether you work in the private or public sector, do offer incentives and benefits that may include partial or full reimbursement of college tuition. If not, they may offer tuition assistance. They may even match your own contributions. Companies that offer certain benefits to employees studying at college include Starbucks, Apple, Disney, AT & T, Verizon Wireless, Ford, and more. Not only can you receive scholarships from these and other companies, but you can also build up a work history so you can enter the workforce once you graduate.

With a variety of jobs available in a wide variety of industries, you can find a job regardless of your intended major or area of interest. Contact a student coach to learn which companies are best for you, your future dreams, and your college of choice.

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