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Applying For College Scholarships

Stephen Friedfeld, PhD
12/18/2012

College is expensive. It’s a simple fact that every family of high school students must face - and the reality is that college is not getting cheaper anytime soon. Luckily, there are thousands of scholarships available. These are essentially "free" money that can help to mitigate the financial burden that many families face. Here are three tips on applying for and landing scholarships.

Make it personal
Those judging your scholarship applications have never met you and will never meet you, in most cases. At first glance, your application may look just like all of the others - which can make it difficult for those evaluating your application to get a feel for who you are as a person. This makes it important for you to include as much quality personal material as you can. Talk about clubs, interests, your background or diversity.

Be sure that you are eligible
Take your time to read the fine print. Confirm that you are providing all that is necessary and that you have met deadlines. Nothing is more frustrating for applicants than taking the time to fill out a lengthy scholarship application just to realize that they are not even qualified.

Pay attention to detail
Take the time to review your application. Spelling and grammar are important. Be sure the information you are providing is the information you are asked. If requested, back up your application materials with the appropriate documentation.

Follow these tips and you will improve your chances of qualifying for scholarships.

(Stephen is the COO of AcceptU (www.AcceptU.com), a college admissions counseling group that connects applicants with former admissions officers. He has 10+ years of admissions experience at Cornell University and Princeton University. )

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