Navigating the Scholarship Search

Physician's Money Digest, January 2007, Volume 14, Issue 1

US News & World Report

Applicants beware:

With the rising cost of tuition, more andmore students are applying for scholarshipsto help ease the burden of payment.Not surprisingly, the competition is fierceand getting a leg up can take some ingenuity.A articlesays that there are $2 billion out there inprivate scholarships, and since awardsaverage $2000 per recipient, 1 of every 13students should be able to attain a scholarship.To separate themselves from thepack, students need to focus on originalityand should, therefore, avoid copying theideas of previous award winners. Judgeslooking at projects or essays don't want tosee an old idea rehashed, so studentsshould think of something new or unexpectedto get noticed. Many scholarshipsrequire an essay, but instead of writing anew one for every application, applicantsshould "work smart" and rework a singleessay to fit each program. Spending timealtering one good piece of writing is betterthan throwing together a whole batch.And grammar and spelling should never beneglected. Any scholarshipthat asks for a fee or requests creditcard information is probably not legitimate.Although most scholarships requirefinancial information, usually providedthrough FASFA, genuine scholarship programswon't ask for money or tell applicantsthat they are preapproved pending aprocessing fee.