Searching for scholarships is necessary to pay for higher education. However, it can be time consuming. Here are two helpful, time-saving templates.
When my oldest daughter began applying to colleges, I knew we were going to have challenges paying for it. As we started searching for scholarships, I found a couple helpful sites and resources. Most helpful was Quetzal Mama managed by Roxanne Ocampo who has 10+ years of experience helping Latinx students achieve higher education. I followed the same advice for my next daughter when the time came for her to search for scholarships. I even followed the same advice for myself when I began my own college enrollment.
The biggest challenge we continued to have was making time to search and apply for scholarships. From our experiences, we learned a few time-saving techniques that I want to share with you. These time-saving templates helped us and will help your family too!
Prepare before you search
Use this resume template to keep track of your accomplishments throughout high school. Each section has specific information to complete. For example, keeping note of each advisor, teacher, coach, and manager will be helpful when it’s time to request Letters of Recommendations. Keeping track of hours or total hours per project is important because certain scholarship applications will ask for this total. Listing your heritage, languages, awards, etc will be your keyword search terms.
Ready? Set. Start searching for scholarships!
Colleges and universities offer scholarships for incoming freshman which often renew each year. Renewable scholarships are valuable! Search their Financial Aid website. Some college departments, such as art and music, offer specific scholarships which may require submitting a portfolio. In addition to the financial aid site, you can search the department’s website or ask the department chair for these specific scholarships.
If you are working, search your employer’s human resources for scholarships or tuition reimbursement programs. If you belong to a Union, you will want to search their education resources as well.
The chances of being awarded a local scholarship is greater than a national scholarship. Focus your time searching local organizations in your city and county. After this, then search regional, state, and national scholarships. Use this checklist to guide your search.
More help finding and applying for scholarships
Searching for scholarships doesn’t have to be difficult. Use these templates as a first step. Then seek out help at your high school guidance counselors, college financial aid departments, and community organizations focusing on education. In Stockton, groups such as Stockton Scholars are available to support our students. I recently shared about the Stockton Scholars’ Student Ambassador Program.