To find those elusive easy scholarships to apply for, start by asking yourself what makes you unique. Then, look for scholarships that fit.
Paying for college is no small task, but scholarships can offer some of the best returns on a student’s time. With the right scholarship opportunities, students can graduate with less debt and a stronger resume.
Scholarships for Kids
Paying for college is no small task for any family, and scholarships are a big part of the equation. It’s smart for kids to start searching early, in middle school or high school. Many scholarships don’t have a lot of competition at that time. The earlier they begin to search for these awards, the more financial gaps they can fill in.
The key to finding easy scholarships is to look for opportunities that are specifically designed for your child’s unique talents, interests and background.
If your child has a specific skill, such as playing an instrument or art. Also, a unique ethnic background or religious affiliation, speaks a language, is involved in sports. Volunteers in the community or has a disability, there are likely scholarships to fit those criteria.
Similarly, children should get involved in extracurricular activities early on to expand their horizons and make them more attractive to scholarship judges.
Parents can also ask their employer if they offer tuition assistance programs, which can help defray education costs. They should also check out their state’s educational choice options, which may include vouchers and tax credits for private school attendance. The Children’s Scholarship Fund lists options by state on their website.
Easy Scholarships to Apply for Teens
The scholarship world can be intimidating to high school students, but it’s never too early to start searching for awards. In fact, many scholarships for teens are available to high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
The key to success is starting early and focusing on scholarships that align with academic and personal interests. Narrowing the options can also make navigating the application process easier.
Scholarships for teenagers can be based on a variety of factors, from academic merit to financial need. Merit-based scholarships typically reward high performers with an academic record that exceeds a certain threshold. In contrast, awards based on financial need require students to submit their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and demonstrate an inability to pay for college without assistance.
Writing-focused scholarships are another type of scholarship for students. They allow applicants to tell their unique story through written words and may be based on anything from a personal experience to a favorite book. These scholarships are popular among students who love to write, and they can help them hone their writing skills while helping to offset the cost of college.
Finally, there are scholarships aimed at promoting various causes and issues. For example, the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Scholarship calls on students to create a piece of art—including writing, visual arts, or media arts—that explores our connection to the ocean and promotes the award’s message.
Scholarships for Adults
While scholarships are typically for high school and college students, there are plenty of options for adults seeking to return to school, pursue a new degree or change careers. These scholarships are usually based on merit, and they can significantly cut down on the cost of tuition. They can also help students avoid loans and other debt-related stressors.
Many of these scholarships are simple and require minimal time to apply. Some are lottery-based, while others have short essays or require a simple online form. It’s important to balance these types of opportunities with scholarships that are more specific and require a little more work.
For example, a scholarship that focuses on mental health can be a much more competitive and challenging scholarship than one that asks for a short essay about your favorite book.
Additionally, students should emphasize their unique experiences when applying for these scholarships. This will help the application stand out from other generic applicants. For instance, a student can talk about their previous challenges and the wisdom they have gained through those experiences in a way that is compelling to scholarship judges.
Lastly, it’s also important to thank the businesses and organizations who sponsor these scholarships. A quick phone call or email will go a long way in demonstrating your appreciation for their support.
Easy Scholarships to Apply for Seniors
A college education comes with a hefty price tag. Scholarships are a great way to mitigate those costs, and high school seniors should add searching for scholarships to their list of things to do before college, along with campus tours, SATs, and applying to colleges.
Some scholarships require a high GPA or test scores, while others may focus on previous community service or ethnic or cultural background. Still other scholarships may require certain career interests or activities or be presented by large companies or organizations as a part of their employee benefit programs.
The goal is to make the scholarship search as SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/Realistic, Time-bound) as possible.
To save time, start your search early in the year and set aside some dedicated time to do nothing but applications. Stay organized and keep a master list of deadlines, application requirements, and necessary materials, especially when it comes to asking for recommendations from teachers and mentors.
Most scholarship providers disqualify applicants who don’t meet application guidelines and deadlines. So be sure to carefully read through each opportunity. Look for scholarships that ask for quick answers to 1 or 2 questions. And those that don’t require any essay at all.