October 2019 DoSomething Scholarships

Do you like making a difference in your school or community? If you do, DoSomething has many campaigns to make a difference, and for participating, you will be entered to win a scholarship! Below are campaigns from DoSomething that are accepting entries in October. Read More

Advertisements

Scholarship Saturday – September 28, 2019

There are thousands of scholarships out there. Below you will find many scholarships, most with general eligibility requirements. My goal is to share some lesser-known scholarships with my readers every Saturday.

Don’t wait. Apply for these great scholarships today! And, if you missed the last Scholarship Saturday, check it out. There are scholarships there that are still open! You can also find scholarships on my other scholarship lists, such as scholarships with requirements based on your statemajorgrade levelethnicity, or religion. And, lastly, check out my list of scholarships with September,  October,and November deadlines.

Only brief information about each scholarship is listed. Therefore, you are encouraged to visit the scholarship websites to get further details about eligibility and requirements.

Here are 30 scholarships for Saturday, September 28, 2019. Read More

Early Action, Early Decision or Regular Decision?

You may be inundated with emails and regular mail from colleges inviting you to apply for admission. The college may also be trying to encourage you to apply early by waiving the application fee. There are multiple ways to apply to a college: early decision, early action, and regular decision. The different ways you can apply can be confusing for students. What do all of the options mean? And, are there advantages or disadvantages to choosing one option over another? How you apply to a college is up to you, but I hope to explain the options so you can make an educated decision on how you should apply to the colleges you are considering.

Early Decision (ED)

For many colleges that offer early decision, students must submit their application and materials (transcript, test scores, recommendations, etc.) in October or November. Students will typically receive their admission decision within a month of submitting their application. Students can only apply to one institution early decision, but can apply to other colleges regular decision. If the student is accepted to the institution early decision, they must withdraw their applications at all other colleges and commit to attending the institution. Frequently acceptance rates for early decision are higher than regular admission. However, this does not mean it is easier to get in. Many times, the students who apply early decision are students who are top students academically with stellar grades and test scores.

Before applying early decision, students must make sure this is the college they want to attend because it is a binding contract. The student, parent/guardian, and the counselor all have to sign a form that says they agree to these terms when applying for Early Decision. The only way a student can decline the offer of admission is if the financial aid award offer is not enough to make it possible to attend the institution. And, this does not mean you can withdraw if you see the total and do not like it. Most of the colleges will prepare financial aid awards and will meet financial need based on the information provided on the FAFSA and possibly the CSS Profile. You might not like your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), but that is what the documents believe you can afford.

While a college cannot force you to write the tuition check, your current school will probably not release your transcript to any other college if you were accepted Early Decision because they also agreed to the terms of Early Decision. Schools do not like breaking the contract because if one of their students walk away from a Early Decision offer, it could affect future decisions for other students. If you are accepted, you cannot continue “shopping around” for colleges. Research the cost of attendance and financial aid options before applying and only apply early decision if you know you will be able to afford attendance.

Early Action (EA)

Just like early decision, early action allows students to apply early and get admissions decisions early. Early action applications are non-binding and students can apply to multiple colleges. Although students receive notification of their decisions early, they have until May 1 to choose the college they will attend.

Apply early, get a decision early. You are free to continue applying to other colleges and can wait to make your final decision until May 1. This allows you to continue researching the colleges, visit again (if necessary), and compare financial aid award offers.

Restrictive Early Action (REA)

Just like regular early action, students will apply to a college early and receive the admissions decision early. Many restrictive early action colleges expect students to not apply to other early decision or early action colleges. However, students are able to apply regular decision at other colleges. Students applying restrictive early action still have until May 1 to decide which college they will attend. This allows students to compare admissions and financial aid offers from all colleges before making the final decision.

Regular Decision

The application deadline for regular decision is usually later than early action and early decision deadlines. This later date gives students longer to prepare their applications for admission. While some colleges give decisions quickly, many do not send regular decisions until mid to late March. Students will then have until May 1 to decide the college they will attend.

Rolling Admission

Colleges that offer rolling admission usually open their applications in the fall and continue accepting applications as space permits throughout the summer. While students can apply whenever they want, there are priority deadlines for financial aid and housing. Therefore, students should still apply to colleges offering rolling admission early to improve their chances of admission, financial aid and housing. Most colleges offering rolling admission typically send out admissions decisions within a few weeks of receiving the completed application.

There are advantages and disadvantages to all ways of applying to college. Before making the decision,  weigh these factors and choose the option that is best for you. The application and personal statements are very important in the decision process. Therefore, students should take their time with the application, no matter how they are applying. Lastly, if applying early decision, I highly recommend you connect with your school counselor or college counselor to discuss the option because early decision is not for everyone. Counselors may have a little more insight into the admissions process at the college you are applying and may be able to provide a little more information to help you make your decision to apply early decision or not.

Want to stay in the loop? Follow my blog to be notified when new articles are published. You can also follow me on TwitterFacebook or Pinterest for information on college admissions.

 

 

What are Scholarship Judges Looking For in Applicants?

A common question I get from students and parents is how to win a scholarship. I have provided many tips that can get students noticed, but unfortunately not every qualified student can win every scholarship they have sent their application. I have served on quite a few scholarship committees and I’ll share what the review and decision process can look like behind the scenes. While all scholarships decision-making will be a little different, many of the steps will be similar for a lot of scholarships you will consider sending your application.

Quick Review

When your application comes in, a scholarship judge or someone the committee has designated will take a quick look at your scholarship application to make sure you qualify.

  • Do you meet the residency requirement?
  • Do you meet the GPA requirement?
  • Do you meet the major requirement?
  • Did you submit all application materials that are required?

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria, your application will likely be moved to the “no” pile and will not be reviewed any further.

The quick review may go a little further and they will look to make sure your application is neat and filled out properly. Some things that can get your application moved to the “no” pile includes:

  • Not answering all of the questions.
  • Spelling errors.
  • Messy application. Many applications are now submitted online, but physical applications can look messy. Messiness can include handwriting that is hard to read, stains on the paper, etc.

Quick Review – Second Look

If you’ve made it through the quick review, your application will move to the scholarship judges’ desks. However, there may still be thousands of applications and many scholarship committees do not have the capability to spend a lot of time going over all of the applications. Therefore, scholarship judges will quickly skim through the applications on their desk. Because scholarship decisions are usually subjective, it is hard to say specifically what will help your application move forward. However, some of these things will help your application move on to the next phase of the decision-making process.

  • If you are required to list your extracurricular activities, an impressive list of extracurricular activities can get you moved forward. Anyone can join all of the clubs at your school, but a student who takes on some leadership roles in a club or two will typically be seen as more impressive by scholarship judges. Anyone can do the required volunteer hours, but a student who shows a passion for a specific cause will typically be more impressive to scholarship judges.
  • Essays with a catch will keep them reading. If the first few lines of your essay is boring, scholarship judges may not want to keep reading. Your essay needs to be interesting and different from other essays, especially in the first few sentences.
  • Your essay needs to stand out. When the scholarship has a specific question scholarship applicants must answer, judges will receive many scholarship essays that will sound exactly the same. It is sometimes better to think a little outside the box when coming up with your response to a scholarship essay question. Essays that stand out will help you move ahead in the process.

The Final Cut

Scholarship judges will have their favorites and will take those applicants to the table to make the final decision. Many scholarships will have multiple judges on the scholarship committee and the committee will start having a discussion on who deserves to win the scholarship. Again, because decisions can be subjective, each scholarship judge might place different levels of importance for the things that are included on the application. For example, one judge may think activities outside of the classroom are the most important, while another judge might find the essay the most compelling part of the application.

The committee will continue narrowing down the applicant pool until they have the winner or winners of their scholarship. There will be a lot of discussion among the judges based on who deserves the scholarship. Some things they will say about who they ultimately choose as their winner may include:

  • “This is the most impressive applicant.” The applicant has great grades, great extracurricular activities, and a great essay. The applicant impressed the committee and rose above the competition.
  • “This applicant will be the best representative for our scholarship.” In addition to being impressive, something about the applicant is a good representative for the company or organization. This could mean that the scholarship committee was also looking for someone who shares their values.
  • “We really like this applicant.” The student was impressive just like many of the applicants. But, something in the application made the committee really like them. It could be their story, how they overcame an obstacle, or their dream. Whatever it was, the committee just really liked the applicant.

It is hard being a scholarship judge! So many deserving students apply for scholarships, but there is only so much scholarship money to go around. Most scholarship committees do not take their job lightly and spend a lot of time and energy on the selection process.

Hopefully by learning what the scholarship decision process looks like behind the scenes, it can help you become a better applicant in the future.

Want to stay in the loop? Follow my blog to be notified when new articles are published. You can also follow me on TwitterFacebook or Pinterest for information on college admissions.

 

 

 

 

 

Scholarship Saturday – September 21, 2019

There are thousands of scholarships out there. Below you will find many scholarships, most with general eligibility requirements. My goal is to share some lesser-known scholarships with my readers every Saturday.

Don’t wait. Apply for these great scholarships today! And, if you missed the last Scholarship Saturday, check it out. There are scholarships there that are still open! You can also find scholarships on my other scholarship lists, such as scholarships with requirements based on your statemajorgrade levelethnicity, or religion. And, lastly, check out my list of scholarships with September,  October,and November deadlines.

Only brief information about each scholarship is listed. Therefore, you are encouraged to visit the scholarship websites to get further details about eligibility and requirements.

Here are 35 scholarships for Saturday, September 21, 2019. Read More