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A Smart Scholarship Search Strategy for RI Students

Posted by Jodi Anderson on Mar 5, 2020 3:52:43 PM

Didn’t get as much merit or financial aid as you were hoping for and want to decrease the out of pocket expense coming due this summer on you college tuition bill?  SCHOLARSHIPS!

Scholarships

Start Local

Rhode Island, as you know,  is a small state.  Use that fact to your advantage. Local scholarships traditionally do not have the large number of applicants as national scholarships typically do.  Often local scholarships have fewer requirements, making them easier to obtain.  The dollar amounts may not be as large as other scholarships, but every free dollar is one less you have to save, earn, or borrow to pay tuition.  Anything you can do to reduce your need to borrow is a wise move. Where do you find these local "nuggets of gold"?
  1. Your high school guidance office
  2. RIScholarships.org website or mobile app
  3. RISLA’s Knowledge for College Scholarship
  4. Family members and friends’ places of employment
  5. The local library
  6. Local organizations such as Elk’s Club,  Lions Club and/or your church
  7. Hometown newspaper
  8. Your college

Invest The Time

You must do your research and find which scholarships you are best matched for.  It takes a bit of time, so plan for it.
  1. Start your search early – now is the perfect time
  2. Set aside time 2 to 3 times per week, 30 – 60 minutes to do your research
  3. Make a list of the scholarships with the best matches for you, and the submission deadlines, according to the scholarship requirements.  For example, some scholarships are only for certain majors, have GPA minimums, focus volunteerism, etc. 
  4. Start drafting your essays and collecting any additional paperwork required, such as a transcript or recommendation letters
  5. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR DEADLINES!
  6. Get and stay organized, save copies of everything you submit, as some requirements, like transcripts could be requested in more than just one scholarship application

Increase Your Odds

Don't be fooled by the myths: only straight A students or start athletes get scholarships. The more scholarships you apply for, the better your chances are of reaping some rewards. Remember, every dollar will make a difference in helping to pay that tuition bill. If you have exhausted all of the local options listed above, broaden your search. Additional search sites shown below may help to get you started:

Lastly, if you are seeking help funding your college career, chances are you don't have money to throw away. With all of the free resources to help locate scholarships, there is no logical need to have to pay.

Best of luck!

Topics: Scholarships, Money Management, Applying for Aid