Personal Finance

Know how to get scolarships

Scholarships are a helping hand extended to a student, helping him/her – partially at least – out of any financial crunch by offering a financial aid that will help the person see through the course he/she is currently enrolled in. It not only pays for the academic expenses but also take away the financial burden away from the shoulder of the parents.

But, as mentioned earlier, hardly any scholarship pays for the entire course fully. And, to add to the confusion, there are hundreds of scholarships in different sizes and categories. How to zero-in on the optimal offer? The trick lies in choosing an ideal scholarship before submitting an application. And mind you, this requires the ‘insider’ know-how as selecting the suitable stock.

Begin the search for the scholarship early – preferably about two years in advance. Use any efficient scholarship search to figure out those scholarships to which you may appear to be eligible.

Scholarships may not be outright grants, but sometimes come as a ‘preferential package’ from colleges looking to shape the entry class with bright minds. The ‘trustee’ or ‘presidential scholarships’ gives a hint of how strongly the alumni feel about their schools. It is prudent to select a school that values excellence in academics in the same was you do.

Colleges generally won’t offer an aid that covers all of the student’s living expenses. The difference in the actual cost and covered amount is known as the ‘gap’. But this is something that gets reduced over a period of time, as a function of one’s academic excellence and other honors achieved in the following terms.

States offer honor programs, mostly prestigious ones. For example, there is the Robert C. Byrd Scholarship, which pays $1,500 a year and special motivational programs that recommend students at in-state funded universities. Also there are special programs for the disabled persons and those offered by corporations and union groups and community groups and other religious associations. If you are not able to find an organization or any group in the scholarship search, and you are quite sure about such a program’s existence, contact any of that particular group’s representatives.

On a flip side, whether it is scholarships or grants, there is no guarantee that all these will be materialized at the hour of the need. Staying on top of all the help is the best bet always.