For many students, Labor Day weekend signifies the end of summer and the return to school. Gone are the lazy days by the pool and hanging out with your friends. You can also forget sleeping in during the week anymore. Hopefully, many of you utilized all that free time during the summer to work on your scholarship applications, though we're sure some of you might have procrastinated just a bit.
Good news...there are still many scholarships available that will help you pay for school this year. Take a little time during this three-day holiday weekend to get caught up or to start your scholarship search.
The Internet has a vast array of free resources for students to use when looking for scholarships. Take ScholarshipExperts.com, for example. This website offers a highly-accurate scholarship matching tool to help students find the awards that are perfect for them. Simply register for a free account, complete the profile information to ensure the best results, and 'ta-da'...you'll have a list of scholarship awards you can apply to as you look for ways to pay for your college education.
Once you have your scholarship list in hand, go through and see which awards have deadlines in the next 30 days. These awards should take priority. Find programs that really 'speak' to you, as your passion will come across in your submissions. Also, don't limit yourself to those that do not require an essay. Less work often means more students are applying, thereby reducing your odds of winning the award. Look for programs that require an essay (or two), as well as the application form -- this may increase your odds of winning since many students won't apply. Remember, don't just get your list of potential scholarship awards and simply set it aside...be proactive and APPLY!
Another good tip is to work smarter, not harder. Do you have a paper you submitted in history class that received high marks or an essay that won a school writing competition? Use these completed projects again by simply tweaking them to fit a current scholarship program. One student won a $5,000 scholarship by simply re-using an advertising campaign for a vacuum cleaner that she created during a college communications course; she merely changed it to fit a scholarship program that asked students to present a plan to attract younger employees for a national company. No need to recreate the wheel if you already have the basic mechanics in place. A few simple changes, and presto...you've got a good shot at getting some free college money!
One of the scholarships you can apply for this weekend is the ScholarshipExperts.com 'Shout It Out' Scholarship. This fun and easy scholarship allows you to use your creative side by answering a short essay prompt: "If you were given a 60-second appearance on a late-night talk show, what would you 'shout out'?" U.S. students who are 13 years of age and older are eligible to apply. The deadline is September 30th, so now is the perfect time to sit down and apply.
Make the most of this holiday weekend by getting a jump-start on your college scholarship applications. It will only take a couple of hours of your time to get started. Don't forget to check your scholarship accounts regularly, as new awards are updated frequently. By setting aside a little time each week, you'll soon get into the swing of things and have several applications completed. Just remember to take your time, work smarter, and edit everything before submitting the finished product. Before you know it, you'll be a scholarship pro!
Photo Credit: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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