As for financial aid, application deadlines also vary, and eligibility is determined through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The earlier the FAFSA is completed, the higher the chances of receiving certain government-based grants. With these deadlines in mind, it is best to complete the application before the end of the high school year.
Scholarships are awarded to students to be used for financing their post-secondary education and do not have to be repaid. They are available from a variety of sources including colleges or universities, major corporations, parents’ employers, internet searches, etc. In addition, many local community and county organizations realize the importance of post-secondary education and offer scholarship opportunities to deserving seniors.
Each scholarship has different criteria and supplemental materials to be included for consideration (letters of recommendation, essays, transcript, etc.).
Searching and applying for scholarships requires organization and diligence in order to meet deadlines and maintain files (dates of submission, criteria for each scholarship, date to claim award, follow up contact information, etc.). This makes it extremely important to have some sort of organizational process in place to record the scholarships applied for. Utilizing a Scholarship Application Tracker is a good way to organize this information.