"Scholarships" submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Monday 9th January 2012

Scholarships are financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Most scholarships are based, to some degree, on academic achievement. Scholarships are available in a wide variety of forms. They may be based on need, ability, profession, heritage, study or merit, such as good grades, high test scores, athletic, musical or other special talent, leadership, community service, and sometimes financial need. Every scholarship does have conditions as to who may apply or the award criteria. Do not be afraid to apply for a scholarship. The worst thing that can happen is that you will not get it.

Financial aid from colleges, and the Federal government are not the only sources of assistance available to students. Millions of dollars are given away each year to deserving students by private organizations. Finding these scholarships and applying for them can be a frustrating, but rewarding process.

The best place to start looking for scholarships is in your high school guidance office. Once you have a handle on what is available locally, it's time to use the scholarship search services available on the internet.

Be persistent. Use more than one service. Don't take the application process lightly. Be sure to meet deadlines and to complete applications completely and accurately. Follow application instructions to the letter. You can't be lazy when it comes to asking for other people's money. The extra effort is worth it. Often, simply the quality of an application (complete/accurate/legible/grammatically correct) can make the difference!

Scholarships—offered for academics, sports and special skills—are applied to schooling costs. To find out what’s available to you, talk with your financial aid counselor, check references at your local library or explore the Internet. We suggest key word searches such as “scholarships” and “college scholarships,” which will generate several pages of hits. You can also look into additional sources, such as your employer, your parents’ employers and civic and social organizations.

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