According to official data nearly 64% of graduate students join the colleges or universities every year. Costs of education rise each year and only tuition fees, apartment and board would cost US $10,000 and more a year in a public institution, and US$25,000 and more in a private one.
So, even before applying for a scholarship, you will need to sit down and think out the finances and what the rules are in the colleges you are considering. While calculating your needs, the factors that need consideration are the cost of education in totality, your family contribution, and the earnings in your family. The difference between the cost of education and your family contribution is your “demonstrated need.”
Eligibility Criterion For Each Scholarship
How much of a scholarship you will require depends on the package worked out by the financial aid department. Once you know the amount, you can apply for different scholarships based on what your college accepts. For example, if your college qualifies to receive grants from federal programs, you can fill in an application at FAFSA. Other options are scholarships offered by the college, private institutions, Athletic scholarships, and academic ones. In case you are planning to seek private funding, find out if your college accepts this.
Find out what the eligibility criterion for each scholarship is, and assess whether you are eligible to apply. The general criteria would be academic performance, talents, community efforts, and ACT or SAT scores. Specific criteria could be religion, ethnic group, subjects being studied, or where you live. Sources for finding out about scholarships are the high school guidance office, the Internet, the college aid office, your local library or town hall, local newspapers, and scholarship directories.
The ideal strategy is to begin the process well in advance, say in September of your high school junior year. This is when you should begin research, reviewing your academic goals and schedule, attending college fairs, and exploring financial options. Seek the help of senior students who have managed to get scholarships, and also ask guidance counselors and college admission cells.