Does the college admission process ever end? Just as the seniors made their college choice on National Decision Day (you can read about where we’re going here), juniors are bracing for a summer of college visits and exploring what will make the best fit. In my experience, there were a lot of factors that needed to be considered before I chose, some being my choice of major, location, etc. What I will be covering, and hopefully helping with a little, is the financial aspect.
At first, I was completely overwhelmed with the cost that seemed high regardless of where I chose. However, there are so many scholarships big and small out there that can help keep the cost down. Today, I am doing a very small part of the research for you and will link some national scholarships below with a brief description as well as giving a few tips on looking for scholarships. While all of these scholarships are fantastic, keep in mind that I’ve only included ones awarded on a national scale. I urge you to do your own research specifically looking for scholarships awarded in your town and state. Most scholarships come from your university, and local scholarships are much less competitive and easier to get. Remember, the list below doesn’t even scrape the surface of the billions of dollars awarded every year and should primarily be used as motivation to do your own research to find the scholarships that best match you!
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge
To put it briefly, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge awards $250,000 to the winning video submission that manages to explain a difficult concept in an entertaining and easy to understand way.
You Can Fly Scholarship
Every year, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association awards the You Can Fly scholarship to high school students to obtain their private pilot’s license.
For students with financial need, the Federal Pell Grant is a great resource. Most university financial aid offices require it anyways. Remember to fill out your FAFSA!
Google Science Fair
Have an idea that can change the world? The Google Science Fair may be your place to pitch that idea, get your project underway, and win a massive scholarship along the way.
Amazon’s Future Engineer Scholarship
Amazon’s Future Engineer Scholarship awards $10,000 to selected applicants who display academic excellence, strong leadership, and, surprise surprise, a future in engineering.
Databases to Check Out
There are a lot of websites and services dedicated to helping you find scholarships. Here are some amazing ones to check out:
- Scholly is an online scholarship search engine where you fill out a comprehensive profile and it matches you with a score to scholarships that may fit you. It’s one of the best scholarship search sites out there.
- Going Merry is an incredible resource that groups scholarships with similar prompts together. You fill out one application to apply for a collection of similar scholarships.
- Fastweb is a pretty common source for finding scholarships. It lists many different opportunities and can send you daily emails so you don’t miss deadlines. It can also show internship opportunities.
- Cappex combines both college searching and scholarships. Once you fill out your profile, it identifies colleges that might be a good fit for you and allows you to compare and search the schools you’re looking for based on several criteria. It also provides many scholarship opportunities.
While most of these scholarship’s deadlines have passed for the 2019-2020 year, it is the perfect time for juniors graduating in 2020 to prepare your transcripts and resumes and be ready to apply when these open up again. Even current sophomores and freshmen can apply for some scholarships. Before you go, take a glance through the tips below to have a slight edge in vast world of scholarships searches.
Researching Scholarship Tips:
Location, Location, Location
- When looking for scholarships, the closer you can get to home the better. If your state, town, or even high school offers a scholarship to its residents, find it! Not only is it easier to apply, there is less competition than a scholarship open to all high school students in the US
- If you know what degree or field you want to pursue, even better! There are hundreds of privates of scholarships given to students who intend to pursue something specific such as music, engineering, politics, etc. Most judges like to see students who have a plan, and once again, there is less competition if you pick a field.
- Okay, this is WAY easier said than done, but the quicker you can choose the college you are going to the better! At least narrow it down between two or three and find the scholarships they offer ASAP. Many colleges have private alumni scholarships, but the application deadline is early in the year and they want to give them to those who will choose their school!
Keep Your Recommendations Close
- There is no worse feeling than finding the perfect scholarship just before the deadline, filling out the application, and then learning you need to have 2 or 3 references. If I could go back I would definitely have asked at least 6 teachers/mentors in the fall if they could be my references for the coming scholarship application season. You will save yourself so much stress and guilt if you have them ready instead of begging them to have mercy on you and send in a recommendation letter within 4 hours.
- Applying for colleges and scholarships is exhausting and a time killer but keep your head up and keep digging!! You will be thanking yourself in the long run if you cranked out a couple late nights instead of having to pick up another job to pay for your student loans after school.
As always if you need help with ANYTHING feel free to message the Back to Space Ambassadors as we nearly always have someone available and wanting to help! We have 9 seasoned seniors who all survived the admission process and have learned a lot!
Post by Luke Gormsen