Hello again! I promised to talk about this is my last post and so here it is!
Looking and applying for scholarships is one of the main preparation activities that has me really busy! Filling out FAFSA and planning my visit dates to the ‘campus of my dreams’ are the main things that I have been focusing on for the New Year. I have also gotten the opportunity to be an intern in a local animation studio, which gives me a small stipend that I am saving up for university.
I would say there are two main things you need to be aware of with scholarships: how to go about finding the ones you are eligible for and how to organise the various scholarships. When I first started looking for scholarships I went scholarship happy and wrote all the scholarship names down in a little notebook or on sticky notes on my computer. I had to read through the whole list to figure out when the scholarships were due and then had to keep on revisiting sites for the requirements. Recently though I found an amazing thing! A Scholarship Organiser Worksheet. You can find various ones online or you can make your own based on how the others are structured. They are the best- at a glance you can see when the scholarships are due, how much $$ they offer, notes on what you have to do to apply and website and contact info. It has really helped me that’s for sure. If you want, you can have a planner for each month. I just have mine in a general list. However, I have colour coded the months so January scholarships are highlighted in blue etc.
Now that’s how to organise them, but one of my intitial problems was finding the scholarships and grants in the first place! Here’s some bullet points to help 🙂 (Now I am planning to study in America as I said in earlier posts so this might be more useful for those who want to go to the U.S but hopefully if you don’t this will still help you.)
- Scholarship Search sites: CollegeBoard, SALT, Niche Scholarships and, of course, International Student – which I found more helpful than others when it comes to finding a scholarship that doesn’t require you to be an American citizen. Make sure and BE SPECIFIC when filling out the information for these sites, less info= less relevance. Do It.com is also another good one.
- Searching the Internet yourself: When looking for scholarships without aid of a site, look for specific categories that apply to you. When I say that I mean categories like these: if you are a specific ethnic group (asian,hispanic,african, etc) having diversity on campus is a plus for Universities’ image so take advantage of these scholarships, if you are female (sorry, no offense guys) especially if you are a female pursuing an IT or Engineering degree, if you know what your major is- some scholarships are given based on a course of study, if you are a missionary kid, a child whose parents worked for the U.S Military. All these categories help narrow your search so you won’t have to wade through hundreds of scholarships and only find 15 that you are eligible for.
- Searching through the School Website: If your highschool gives scholarships to students who want to study abroad- go for it. However, in my country scholarships from the highschools are usually limited to the highest achieving students. However, I found that searching the University I plan on going to for scholarships really helped. Most Universities boast about being affordable based on their grants and financial aid. It is almost a fact that you would at least find scholarships for doing well on your SAT’s.. There should also be a financial aid Counselor or someone who works in the school who can walk you through paying for it. Now the only problem is that this option might require you to have filled out FAFSA which is limited.
Okay, so I hope that was helpful. There might be more ways to find scholarships, but these are the ones I’m using so far and I have quite a few to apply for. One more thing about scholarships, always put your best effort forward, know that thousands others will be applying for the same scholarship so you are not guaranteed to win. Make sure and apply to as many as possible. If you can get a full scholarship from the school GO FOR IT! Stay away from loans as much as possible unless you have a plan for paying it back and KNOW you can stick to it.
(The thing about Trinidad)
I think I forgot to write this in my last blog- I wanted to share a bit of my culture in each post. February is Carnival month in Trinidad and I love to watch the Ole Mass. In Trinidad we dress up as different ethnic groups that made our history. There are Red Indians, Chinese Dragons, Dame Lorraines (girls dressed up in old fashioned dresses with added padding at the rear to imitate how the French women used to dress when the french colonised our country) and many other characters. My favourite are the moko jumbies. They can also be called dancing spirits (as jumbie means spirit or ghost).
See you later with some more about my experience and things learnt!