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Student loans can be quite cumbersome after you graduate. This is when most loans come into effect and you have to start paying on them and they start to earn interest. While you may not be too worried about the loan amount right now, it will be a shock to you when you first see your bill come in the mail. Applying to scholarships and college grants can get pretty tedious, so it’s important to keep the large amount of money you’ll have to pay back in loans fresh in your mind. It will motivate you to continue to apply to grants and scholarships throughout your college career.
So what do you do to find money for school?
#1: Search the Internet
Search the Internet for as many grants and scholarships as you can find. Use search engines, look at websites for foundations and associations and send emails to organizations. There are many websites that have special search engines that will allow you to check off special characteristics about yourself, which will then give you a list of grants that you may qualify for.
#2: Ask Organizations in Your Community
Some communities have grants for local students. You’ll have to ask about them because many of them aren’t advertised. The more people you ask, the more hints you’ll receive on where to look.
#3: Ask the School You’ll Attend
Academic advisors have a lot of information on financial aid options so ask them about what they have available for you. You can either call them or you’ll have to sit down with someone to discuss some of the things you’ll be doing while in college. That way, the advisor can help you locate grants that you’ll qualify for.
#4: Speak to Your Employer
Many companies have scholarships and grants available for their employees so that they are able to go back to school and get the knowledge they need to do their job and become promoted. Checking with your employer is a wise idea because it shows that you are dedicated to your career and it could turn out getting you some money for school.
How to Win Grants and Scholarships
Once you find the grants and scholarships, you’ll need to apply for them. That can get hectic as many of the deadlines are close to one another. Don’t allow yourself to falter at this point in your quest for free money, check out these tips to put yourself at the best advantage for being awarded grants and scholarships.
Do One at a Time
Don’t work on one opportunity and then leave it to work on another. Instead, work on one in its entirety and then start on the next one. It’s best to do this according to the deadline you have for them so that you don’t miss that precious cut off.
Keep a Calendar
Keep a calendar especially for your grants and scholarships. This way, you’ll be able to track when everything has to be in and what you should do next.
Make Your Own Deadline
Don’t speed to the post office the day before an application is due to have it overnighted. Instead, make your own deadline for it, at least two weeks before the date the organization has designated as the deadline. That way, you have time to get it there and you can even call to make sure that it’s arrived and if it didn’t, you can resend it.
Double Check Everything
Don’t send the packet until you’ve checked and double checked that you have everything that is required in the application. If you miss just one document, the organization could send your entire packet into the trash. Don’t waste all the time you’ve invested; be sure you have everything you need.
Don’t Give Up
You won’t win every grant and scholarship but the more you apply to, the better your chances are to be awarded one. Just don’t become discouraged after receiving a rejection. Keep at it and you’ll thank yourself later.
This guest post was written by Marcelina Hardy, a freelance writer who specializes in writing about scholarships and college grants.