If you think your opportunity to get a scholarship has passed, think again. Lots of local scholarships are still accepting applicants through April, May or June.
National scholarships are incredibly competitive and often are hard to win. They take lots of time and dedication and often result in little or no payoff.
Local scholarships, on the other hand, have many less applicants, and often have fewer requirements, making them easier to obtain. The amounts are lesser - yes - but even a few hundred dollars can put a sizable dent in your books and living expenses. Anything you can do to reduce the amount you need to borrow for college is a wise move.
If you think that scholarships are only for straight-A students and valedictorians, then you should know that is only a myth. There are so many scholarships available to students based on other attributes and their interests. For example, the Paul Sherlock Scholarship, provided through the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority and College Planning Center of Rhode Island, are awarded to students based on financial need. If you have an Expected Family Contribution lower than the designated threshold, you should apply. The winners are picked randomly out of the pool of applicants and the awards are $2,000. You can apply for this scholarship through RIScholarships.org.
Other scholarships are named after a lost family member and are awarded to students who demonstrate qualities of that family member such as leadership, compassion, or loyalty. Do you have a strong interest in bowling, fishing or art? There may be a scholarship out there for you! If you haven't started looking - and even if you have - continue your local scholarship search.
The best places to find information on local scholarships are your high school guidance office (let your counselor know if you are looking for scholarships since many nominations for scholarships come from guidance staff), RIScholarships.org - the College Planning Center's free local scholarship finder, the local library, newspaper, and your parent's employers. Also check with the local Elk's Club, Lion's Club and other organizations to see if they have any opportunities available.