Mission Possible: Finding Scholarships to Pay for College!
Excerpted from The Ultimate Schoalrship Guide 2018
The Impossible Mission Force (IMF) was a fictional team of agents (on a TV series which ran from 1966-1973) whose sole job was to pull off vital and daring covert operations overseas and abroad. Each team member was highly skilled in an area or focus and each skill was crucial to accomplishing their impossible task. A task whose instructions they received by tape cassette, which self-destructed after it played its message. Well, our task isn’t nearly as impossible as these fictional agents tasks were. But our task is nonetheless vital. Our task is to find scholarship money to pay for college!
Finding scholarship money to pay for college is like hunting for buried treasure. It is a painstaking process that too often yields little fruit. Going to college, for many, is the gateway to success. Getting a degree is the first rung in accomplishing lifelong goals. But finding money to go to college is the obstacle that must be overcome if one wants to achieve one’s dreams and lifelong goals. A strategy for getting scholarship money is needed. A strategy is a plan of action. It is a well-thought out approach that is designed to help you accomplish a goal. This article will outline such an approach. And your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to adopt such an approach that accomplishes two things:
- Get scholarship money for college
- Develop a consistent process for finding valuable scholarships
The Big Mistake
Let’s face it. We’ve all made this mistake in the past. We put in a random search for scholarships on the internet and a whole host of sites pop up. They all have dazzling prize money attached, which would satisfy all of your needs if you could win it. The problem is everyone else has the same thought. The Coca-Cola scholarship receives more than 100,000 applications a year. Pursuing a scholarship like that can be a big mistake and an even bigger time waster! It turns out that the most lucrative source for scholarship money may be incredibly close and right in your backyard!
Think about all the civic groups, clubs, businesses, churches and organizations in your community. Each of these is a potential source for scholarships. Since these scholarships are only available for people in your community, the competition is less fierce. You might be thinking, “What good is a $500.00 scholarship, when college costs so much money?” The answer to the problem of cost is not found in landing the one big fish! It is found in putting together a portfolio of scholarships. A portfolio of scholarships consists of both one-time and renewable scholarships. A small $500.00 scholarship doesn’t seem like much when compared to the total cost of school. However, if it is a renewable scholarship, over four years the value of that scholarship increases to $2000.00! If that doesn’t excite you (what will?), take the amount of the award and divide it by the amount of hours you invest in the application. Let’s say you spend an hour a night for three nights working on the application for a $500.00 scholarship. Divide the $500.00 by three and it works out to a little over $166.00 per hour. If you can find a job that pays $166.00 an hour, take it…fast! If you can’t find a job that pays that much, then applying for a scholarships is what you ought to be doing.
Next week, we will give you a list of places to search for scholarships and articulate this strategy further. Until then, a resource you might invest in is The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2018.