Secure a college scholarship with helpful tips

These days, parents are faced with a pressing dilemma: the standard of education is on the rise in North America, and so is the cost for college programs. However, the rising education standard means that higher learning is not only for the financially privileged anymore -- people from all walks of life have an opportunity to continue their education.

Today, there are plenty of potential funders out there, and knowing which resources to tap will get your child started on the path to a promising post-secondary life. Begin by learning what scholarships are really about, who is in the best position to get them and how you can maximize your chances for grants and funding to help ensure a bright future for your child.


Begin your Scholarship Search with Accurate Information

Many people believe that scholarships are only available for those who fall into an extreme category, such as low-income, star athlete or academic genius. This is certainly not the case. Scholarships come in all shapes, sizes and forms, and many recognize a particular discipline or extra-curricular achievement. And if your income bracket prevents you from collecting government grants, you are likely quite eligible for student loans and non-needs-based scholarships.

On the subject of opening your mind to all kinds of funding, don't limit yourself to the obvious school-based academic scholarships. You might be surprised to discover that there is an abundance of external scholarships offered by successful businesses, banks and even charitable community organizations. Your child will need to look online for some of these, or else speak with a school counselor about any low-profile funders that may be interested in helping you out.

College Scholarship Application and Strategy

One helpful tip is to begin your search for scholarship information early. Instead of paying a shady scholarship agency to search for funding on your behalf, get acquainted with what's available and the application process that's involved before your child is in the final stretch of high school. You'll find that some scholarships are for one year only while others can be renewed, so you can create a strategy that makes use of several different scholarships over the course of the degree.

When you're getting ready to apply, take stock of all of your child's assets and interests. If they have an idea of their career path and what their experience can bring, they will be able to paint an enticing picture of themselves in the scholarship essay, which plays a central role in the application. Once they have completed this assessment, a visit to the high school counselor will point your child in the right direction. From there, conduct some research on your own: find a scholarship handbook at the library, look through the wealth of information online and check with your employer to see if any scholarships are offered through your company. The key is to push your search into every available corner to improve your chances of finding the ideal scholarship for your child.

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