Earning Scholarships

(article from Michigan's Student Financial Services Bureau)

Scholarships: Apply & Win
Applying for scholarships can feel like an incredibly daunting task on top of everything else that goes with preparing for college; however, in the long run, the hours spent applying for scholarships can save a person from thousands of dollars of debt.

Time Magazine released some tips on how to win scholarships earlier this year and we’ve picked a couple of our favorites, along with some tips and tricks of our own.

Apply for Local Scholarships
Local scholarships provide the best odds due to the fact that they are open to a smaller group of students. Many of these local scholarships are provided through the community foundation in your county; check with teachers, guidance counselors, and even Google to track down the best scholarships that could be right in your hometown. Our customer care unit is available to help students with their search too. With a simple phone call to 1-888-4-GRANTS, our team will look-up scholarships based on where you live and what your interests are.

Know Where to Look

Do you know the main sources of financial aid? Federal and state government, colleges/universities, and private entities provide a majority of the financial aid in the US. Now, these are not all scholarships, which is why it is important to do your research because most financial aid is awarded based on the FAFSA, private scholarships are not. When looking for scholarships, start local and work your way outward. Search your church Web site, community portals, TV and radio station Web sites, small businesses, and benefactors; when it comes to hunting down free money, leave no rock un-turned. You never know who is willing to give out a scholarship until you start looking!

Get Personal
Think about it, everyone has an attribute that sets them apart from the rest of the world. Are you abnormally tall? Left-handed? Vegetarian? Been in a car crash? Many people and institutions give out scholarships for unique qualities because it means you have a story to tell and a different perspective to bring into the world. Take some time to think about anything that could make you unique and do some research, you never know what money could be out there for you!

This may seem like a no brainer, but a reminder to proofread that essay could be the difference between your essay getting read or thrown out. Read your essay out loud, this is a good way for you to really be able to listen to how your essay would sound to someone else. Your brain has a way of fixing errors for you when you read in your head, which makes reading out loud to yourself or to your parents a great method to correct any errors. Alleviating grammatical errors ahead of time allows the reviewer to concentrate on the content of your essay without being distracted by mistakes.

Meet the Requirements
Take a look at everything that you need for the scholarship application, some scholarships need more than just an essay, you might also need to provide a copy of your resume. It is important to make sure that your resume details your experiences with community involvement, such as community service, any clubs or organizations, or even general volunteer experience. Being able to show that you can give back to the community makes scholarship donors more likely to give their money to you.

Source: Unigo

Contact MI Student Aid at 1-888-4-GRANTS (888-447-2687) to help you with your scholarship search!
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