Students across the country, and all over North Carolina, are applying to college. The college application process is exciting, stressful, and even overwhelming for many students and their parents. Of course, the process doesn’t end when applications are sent off. After applications are submitted it’s time for parents and students to start thinking about how they’re going to pay for school.
Scholarships are easily one of the best ways for students and families to pay for school. There are scholarships available for just about everything. Naturally, there are athletic and academic scholarships, but there are also local scholarships available in your home state that can go a long way when paying for school. Here’s what students and parents need to know about local scholarships, where they can find them, and how they can apply.
Many students may be familiar with large national scholarships such as the National Merit Scholarship or big state scholarships like the Morehead-Cain Scholarship. However, many students overlook valuable local scholarships hiding in their own backyard. With a little digging, students and parents may be surprised to learn that there are many scholarships from local businesses and community organizations that want to give students money for school.
There are all sorts of benefits to local scholarships when compared to national ones. Chief among these is that local scholarships have a much smaller pool of applicants. A smaller pool means less competition, which translates to a much greater chance of a student being awarded a scholarship. National scholarships are still incredibly valuable, and it is important that students cast a wide net when looking for scholarships to pay for school.
That said, it’s also important that students ensure their net includes their own states and cities. From small scholarships for a few hundred bucks to scholarships worth thousands, free money is free money. It all makes a difference when paying for school. Now that you know the opportunities are there, how do you find local scholarships in your area?
The truth is that there are tons of scholarships out there. With so many wonderful options to pay for school, this can make searching for the right scholarship feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Thankfully, there are online searches available to help students and parents find grants and scholarships for college. In fact, you can find an entire database of available North Carolina scholarships and other helpful financial aid programs.
Even better, you can further narrow the search by looking at specific types of scholarships and programs. Potential applicants can focus their search for general scholarships, scholarships unique to students with special needs, programs for military members and their dependents, programs for graduates and professional students, and forgivable loans for students. Remember to also talk with your school counselor, as they often know about scholarships specific to your town or county. Don’t underestimate word of mouth – ask around!
You may be surprised to learn that there are scholarships out there for practically everyone. You can even find scholarships based on height! The best scholarship is the one that helps your student pay for school. Make sure that they don’t miss out on free money available in their own neighborhood. Look for local scholarships and have your student start submitting their applications today!