Although it may not make sense if you look at the economic state of the country today, college scholarships are out there and they are plentiful.
The biggest decision is not which one to apply for, but in finding enough hours in the day to apply for as many as you can and get them in the mail before the application deadlines.
At the bottom line, college scholarships are a financial instrument that allows you to attend college and have part of all of your expenses paid for by the scholarship. This might be a discounted tuition rate, full tuition reimbursement, it may include books and lab fees, and it may also include housing expenses.
When you look at the total cost of attending college over 4 years (assuming you can even DO it in 4 years), the cost of college is a very respectable four-digit number, perhaps even five figures.
Having a scholarship to defray part of all of that cost can mean the difference between going to a community college versus a brand name college, or even worse, the difference between attending college and not attending college at all.
The difference between a college scholarship and financial aid is one very minor point, but an incredibly important point: a college scholarship does not need to be repaid after you graduate from college, whereas financial aid like a student loan does need to be repaid.
To avoid having you worry about the loan while you are sweating out the courses, most student loans do not become payable until after you graduate, and offer very low interest rates. But then again, they still need to be repaid, whereas a real college scholarship does not need to be repaid.
Some people think that college scholarships are only for those students who meet a very narrow criteria, such as a star football jock or a musical genius. While this may have been the case at one point in time, this is no longer the case. In fact, most scholarships require only that you apply for them, and many of them do not even have a requirement that you demonstrate a financial need for it.
Is this fair? In my opinion, it is very fair. A student who shows the drive and initiative to go searching for college scholarships that he or she can apply for is much more worthy of receiving that scholarship when compared to the student who will not lift a finger to do even some basic research into it.
The college admissions office is full of applications from students whose primary job was to lick the stamp that went on the envelope, but the rewards of a college scholarship should go to those who demonstrate the want, need, and desire to attend college, and have some understanding of the financial burden that such a goal comes with, and are willing to do their part to find a solution.
The bottom line is that scholarships are available, and many even go un-awarded each year because nobody applied for them. Find as many college scholarship applications as you can, then sharpen your pencil and get to work!
About the Author
Jon Arnold is a computer engineer who maintains a variety of web sites based on his knowledge and experience. For more information about College Scholarships and College Grants please visit his web site at College Scholarships and College Grants. Jon Arnold may be contacted at or firstname.lastname@example.org
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