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To view scholarships by Deadline click on the link below:
Scholarships are essentially gifts of money given to help fund a college education. With college tuition raising at dramatic rates earning scholarship money can really help. There are two basic types of scholarships: Merit based and need need-based scholarships:
- Merit based scholarships are awarded to students that have a particular skill (musical talent, athletic ability, etc.), high academic achievements, community service, among other things.
- Need based scholarships are given to students that financially need the money in order to be able to afford college. Fortunately, there are a lot of scholarships available for students to help pay for college. It is a common belief for parents to feel they will not qualify for need based. For most need based aid, completing the FAFSA form can be a requirement to earn need base scholarships .
- Automatic Scholarships are when seniors apply for admission and many colleges have scholarships that are awarded automatically to the student. These scholarships may be for a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars (or more). These tend to be merit based scholarships based on GPA, the classes taken, and/or ACT or SAT scores. (Iowa State’s Automatic Scholarships)
- Athletic Scholarships are given to athletes who compete at a high level and are recruited by a college team to come and play for them. You can apply and find out more at NCAA Eligibility Center.
How do students get/earn scholarships?
Apply for Admission Early: Students tend to get the most scholarship money from the college that they attend. In order to get the most scholarship money students should apply for admission as early as possible. Seniors should try to apply for admission colleges they are considering during August, September, or October of their senior year. This will help the college communicate with them about opportunities that the school is offering. We see students nearly every year that lose out on tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships because they put off applying for admission until December or later.
Private Scholarships: There are literally billions of dollars awarded each year in private scholarships. There are several ways to find these scholarships. Each spring we have many local scholarships available here at Gilbert High School. Throughout the year we receive additional information and continue to update the list.
Google is your friend. We once had a student who had chronic psoriasis. She Googled “scholarships for people with psoriasis” and she found a scholarship and was awarded a $1000 check. Check with your church, your employer, your parents employer, your bank, and all of the community organizations in your area (Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary, etc.). There are scholarships all over the place.
There are also several websites that help students find private scholarships. Here are some of the best:
- Apply for college admissions early. Late summer, early fall of your senior year.
- Apply! Many scholarships never get awarded to anyone because there are no applicants. You could be the one. You may also look at a scholarship and think you don’t have good enough grades, haven’t volunteered enough, etc….. Be careful of this. Other people feel the same way. This is why scholarships can have few or no applicants.
- Work hard on your studies and shoot for the best GPA for you! Many students with average GPA’s receive a lot of scholarship money because the have been very involved in school and/or their community.
- Have a resume ready to add to your application or give to people who will be writing your letters of recommendation. Include your work experience, volunteering, and extra curricular activities.
- You will need letters of recommendation. Most people are happy to write a letter for you so don’t be afraid to ask. Give them at least a week notice and provide your resume for them to refer to. Follow directions on how to submit it.
- Keep track of deadlines and try to turn in the application well before the date. Follow directions for how to submit it.
- Keep every essay you write as you may be able to use it, or a version of it, again for another scholarship.
- Ask questions! If you need help or don’t understand something about a scholarship we are happy to help!
Applications MUST be completed by the applicant. Under no circumstances can parents, teachers or counselors complete a scholarship application for a student, nor should they. This is the first step in High School students learning to be independent and responsible as they transition to college. No scholarship or applicant information will be discussed with or released to anyone other than the applicant for most scholarship applications.