The busiest time of the year is just around the corner.
Before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins, take time to submit
your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The 2020-2021 FAFSA
opened on October 1, which means many students have already had the chance to
successfully submit their application. Now is the time to successfully submit
yours! This application allows the financial aid office at your chosen college
to determine your eligibility to receive many types of financial aid. While
some aid does not run out, other types are awarded on a first-come, first-served
basis. If you submit your FAFSA too late, you may miss out on important
funding. There are a few other significant reasons to submit your FAFSA now:
- More and more colleges and universities are
setting early enrollment and institutional scholarship deadlines in November
and December. During the application process, they’ll want to know if you’ve
submitted your FAFSA.
- It’s not uncommon
for a scholarship committee to ask for a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR),
which you receive after you submit the FAFSA. Completing your FAFSA early
ensures that you won’t miss important deadlines.
- Submit the FAFSA now so you have one less
thing on your to-do list for college next fall. It’s better to complete the
FAFSA now so you can focus on other college planning tasks in the spring.
- Since you’ll need to submit the FAFSA
each year you’re in college, completing your application now allows you to
become familiar with the FAFSA form for next year. If you’re in high school,
take this time to ask questions about the application process with your parents
and school counselor so that you’ll know what to expect next fall.
Don’t wait any longer! Complete your FAFSA as
soon as possible.
It’s National Scholarship Month! That means we’re raising
awareness about the numerous scholarship dollars that are available to help you
cover college expenses. For the 2016-2017 school year, the National Scholarship Providers
Association awarded over $2 billion in scholarship funds to deserving
students. That’s just one organization! There are many other companies that
offer scholarships to students preparing for college. To help you put your best
foot forward, here are a few tips to help you submit excellent scholarship
- Follow directions. It’s
important to read all scholarship instructions carefully before starting the
application. If there is a word count to abide by, be sure to meet the
requirements. Also, submit all necessary documents. Ask for letters of
recommendation, copies of your transcript and other documentation weeks before
the scholarship deadline.
- Be creative.
Think outside the box on
scholarship questions. Be creative and original when writing your essay
responses. If you’re asked why you deserve the scholarship, explain why it’s
important for you to go to college. Talk about your academic and career goals,
as well as the challenges you’ve overcome to reach those goals. Also, tell a
story only you can tell. Discuss your involvement with a school organization or
a part-time job and describe the skills you’ve gained from those opportunities.
Remember that with every experience you’ve encountered, you’ve learned
something. Use those learned lessons to fuel your essay responses.
your work. Completing a scholarship application can feel very rewarding;
however, it’s only the first step. Proofreading is the next crucial stage in
this process. Read your scholarship essay aloud to see if you need to make any
adjustments. Also, ask a non-relative, such as a teacher or counselor, to read
your essay – and be open to the constructive criticism they give you.
- Find options
that reflect your interests. Applying for scholarships can seem
like a lot of work. Yet, if you find scholarships that are interesting to you,
the application process can be enjoyable. Search for opportunities that align
with your passions. Then writing essays and creating scholarship videos will be
fun and exciting, instead of time consuming and tedious.
- Never give up! Don’t get
discouraged when you don’t receive a scholarship award; just keep applying.
Your persistence will win out in the end. Keep searching for unique
scholarships. Ask local businesses about scholarship opportunities, as well as
your current education institution. The goal of scholarships is to assist you
with covering the costs of college. The more scholarships you apply for, the
more likely you are to gain that extra assistance. To learn more about
scholarships or to search for interesting opportunities, check out our Scholarship
Success Guide or go to UCanGo2.org and OKcollegestart.org.