How To Get A Scholarship — The Fundamentals
Like most scholarships and grants, undergraduate scholarships aim to help students who excel in their high school academics. This reward is not just for book smarts, but also for individuals who excel in more tactile areas such as the arts, or sports. This financial aid often acts as an incentive to encourage students who have shown remarkable accomplishment in various activities at the high school level.
Universities regard scholarships as investments into the future, ideally breeding successful graduates. Often, universities in the United States offer undergraduate scholarships to students for specific programs or subjects to motivate them into joining their respective institutions. For example, a university might offer an enormous football scholarship, covering not only the cost of tuition to attend the university, but room and board, uniform, and many other things associated with the student’s positive experience at the school.
Where Does The Money Go?
The undergraduate scholarship program greatly benefits the student, since his or her educational expenses are covered either fully or partially as the scholarship suggests, and they are able to concentrate all of their efforts on their studies (or, some coaches might tease, on their sports). The student is not expected to return or pay back any of the costs of the education with the university or college.
When the scholarship awarded is a partial scholarship, the student is expected to bear the costs of room, boarding and other expenses. This may occur if the student is on a special project, or doing specific research at the university or college. A partial scholarship might also signify that the student meets the minimum requirements for the scholarship, and must achieve a high GPA at university or college to be awarded a full scholarship.
Many scholarships require that the student maintain a certain standard of academia during the educational journey. Dropping below a certain grade point average, for example, might affect the dollar amount awarded with the scholarship in the coming semester.
The undergraduate scholarship programs that are offered are often designed to suit every student, and are not based on only high grade averages and academic brilliance. There is most definitely a scholarship possibility for any student who has a specific talent.
How Do I Get A Scholarship?
The process of applying for an undergraduate scholarship in the United States must be initiated well before the start of an academic year of the particular educational institution. A large number of people apply for such grants, but many underestimate the paperwork that goes into making such scholarships become a reality. The procedure to apply for scholarships includes supplying highly detailed information of personal, professional and academic relevance. This takes time, naturally, but many students rush the process, often leaving out pertinent information. Missing relevant details would be deemed an incomplete application that might not be acceptable. The application form often includes details of grade averages, essays written by the applicant and letters of recommendation. Make sure you have it all!
Qualification for applying for a scholarship consists of three aspects, the students’ average grades over his or her high school education and his examination scores, the results of his SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and his involvement or accomplishments with extracurricular activities or community service. A suitable undergraduate scholarship candidate usually shows a reasonable level of skill in at least one of these aspects. Along with the application form, the student is to write a comprehensive essay on a topic provided by the university. Many students procrastinate in the essay writing, so be careful.
This essay is an integral part of a student’s application as it gives insight to the selection committee of one’s personality, achievements, and goals. The student and is encouraged to express his or her individuality through this medium.
Another important requirement for the submission of the application form is the letters of recommendation. These should ideally be given by people who have relevance to your life, credibility, either by profession or relation (a past high school teacher, for example); someone who has an understanding of the strengths, skills and goals of the undergraduate scholarship applicant. To be recommended by another person lends reliability to the student, and is a way of confirming that the application is worthy of a scholarship seat in the institution.
The second step towards being awarded the scholarship is to be invited for a scholarship interview, where the student meets a member of the selection committee. This is the final step in the scholarship process, and often the most nerve-wracking.
Giving a successful interview requires confidence, self-assurance and poise. You must show the committee exactly why you deserve scholarship money, and how it will benefit their institution. Above all, remember to work hard for what you want.
Best of Luck!