Some scholarships and grants cover tuition at accredited colleges and universities for four years. You must apply for other scholarships and grants each year, giving you increased opportunities to receive free money to pay for school.
Just because you didn’t receive the scholarship or grant money you were seeking the first time you applied for the financial aid, doesn’t mean that you won’t be approved to receive the money if you apply for the scholarships and grants again this year. After all, a new year means new scholarship and grant opportunities, and not only for grants and scholarships you applied for in previous years, but also because organizations create new financial aid programs each year.
To make sure that you don’t miss out on new scholarships and grants, consider visiting organization’s like the United States Department of Education, cultural scholarship and grant databases associated with national organizations like the United Negro College Fund and the Hispanic College Fund and professional associations like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) every year. Do this even if you are already getting one or more scholarships and/or grants.
If you are currently employed, also be sure to check your employer’s benefits plans and/or websites to learn about scholarships and grants you can apply for as an employee. As a high school senior, you can ask your parents to look out for new scholarships and grants at their work places for you.
Make sure you read through the requirements and applicant criteria before you sit down and start completing applications for college and university scholarships and grants as you might not meet the requirements for some of the financial aid programs. For example, private organizations and federal agencies provide scholarships and grants to unmarried children of military veterans that you may or may not qualify to receive.
Also make note of the minimum and maximum amounts of money awarded via each scholarship and/or grant you apply for. Some scholarships and grants only provide you with enough money to pay for your books and/or lab fees while other scholarships pay the entire amount of your tuition, books, lab fees and room and board. Check to see if these higher valued scholarships and grants require you to work a certain number of years for government agencies or in under-represented communities. For example, some four-year education scholarships and grants require you to work for two or more years teaching students who attend elementary, middle or secondary schools in under-represented school districts. If you fail to keep this working agreement, you might have to pay the scholarship or grant back, depending on the requirements associated with the funding.