Pay for School: How to Find & Win Scholarships


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  • Sample Activity (if long enough):Respond to a sample scholarship – perhaps the foundation?Identify sections of the essay that they could use for themselves?Read an essay and identify the positives and negatives of the essay. Break into groups and read a couple of essays, identify cued parts and then regroup as a class to debrief?Put page #’s in top cornerAdd advanced organizersMaterials:EvaluationsScholarship Orientation Agenda What are scholarships?Type: need, merit, essay, etc.How do you receive the money?Typically a check to the schoolSometimes you get a checkWhere do I start?FAFSA Online orientationReccomendationsEssay / personal statementCurrent scholarship listingsWho are you?Fastweb profileYour resumeWrite your essay and look for clues /nuggets in your history?Put together a list of the keywords in the database to hand outWhere to look?The Scholarship SiteGoogleProfessional AssociationsSpecial interest groupsChurches or religious institutionsOther BC optionsTuition WaiverSTEPP ProgramFoundationWorker retrainingOpportunity grant?When is the sweet spot for scholarships. Smaller organizations are more likely to yield resultsOther funding sources?Stories:-ASWA and 3 applicants for 2 scholarships, 1in3 foundation applicants get one. Go to the library.
  • Below Taken from www.petersons.comScholarships: Scholarships consist of outright grants of monetary assistance to eligible students to help them attend college. The money is applied to tuition or the cost of living while in school. Scholarships do not need to be repaid. They do, however, often carry stringent criteria for maintaining them, such as the achievement of a certain grade point average, the carrying of a given number of class hours, matriculation in a specific program, or membership in a designated group.Grants: Graduate or postdoctoral awards to support specific research or other projects. Grants cover expenses directly related to carrying out the proposed research (e.g., materials, interview costs or computer time). Sometimes a grant includes allowances for travel and living expenses incurred while conducting research away from the home institution. Usually living expenses at the home university are not covered. The word "grants" often is generically used to refer to all gift awards for college expenses regardless of level or applicability.Prizes: Money given in recognition of an outstanding achievement. Prizes are often awarded to winners of competitions.Fellowships: Graduate and postgraduate level awards to individuals to cover their living expenses while they take advanced courses, carry out research, or work on a project. Some fellowships include a tuition waiver.Forgivable Loans: These loans are intended to help to defray the cost of education programs. The borrower's loans are paid off in exchange for volunteer work or military service. Perform volunteer workPerform military serviceTeach or practice medicine in certain types of communitiesMeet other criteria specified by the forgiveness programScholarships: a type of financial aid given for either achievement (usually academic) or need. Sometimes a combination of both.Grants: typically money provided by the state of federal government. This does not need to be paid back and is usually given based on financial need.Fellowships: paid to an individual to aid in the pursuit of study or research.Prizes: money that you win in a contest that could be used for school (example: art contest, or an essay)
  • Highlight of FAFSA, give a tutorial-mention MCS-Working with financial Aid (ask them)
  • Google Calendar and Gmail iPhone?Paper and pencilAny other ideas?Once you have applied for two scholarships, you have completed about 60% of every other scholarship.
  • Ask at least 3-5 individuals for lettersSelect individuals who are as relevant as possible
  • Step Two: Letters of RecommendationMost sponsors want two or three Letters of Recommendation. Request your letters as soon as possible and keep them in sheet protectors in your Scholarship Binder. Expecting someone to produce a quality letter of recommendation for you on short notice isn't reasonable or respectful. Take care of this step early on in the scholarship process. Who Should You Ask?Someone who knows you well Examples: teacher, employer, community leader, athletic coach, club coordinator, advisor, counselor, religious leader, volunteer coordinator (Do NOT ask a family member)It is beneficial to have one academic or professional letter and one personal letter. These letters should provide examples of your strengths, interests, and personality. Keeping the letters focused on the types of scholarships you are looking for is helpful but not necessary. How Do You Ask?Recognize that it is a time consuming task to write a letter of recommendation. Give the letter writer at least three weeks notice and let them know you appreciate their efforts. The following are tips that are helpful when asking a potential letter writer:Spend time talking with the letter writer about yourself, the scholarships you are applying for, your educational and career goals, your extracurricular activities and why this scholarship would benefit you. Let them know when the letter needs to be completed Ask if they would be willing to modify the letter occasionally depending upon the scholarship you are applying for. Be prepared for a NO. Have a backup list of prospective letter writers. Follow UpCheck in with your letter writer about one week before the scholarship application needs to be mailed out. After you have received the letter, promptly send a thoughtful thank you note. Your letter writer volunteered his or her time to help you; they deserve your appreciation. Keep them posted regarding your scholarship search and share your successes with them. They will be happy for you and feel rewarded for the time they spent assisting you. Stay in touch with them as you may need them to revise the letter and it is good to update your letters every year.
  • Essays and Personal StatementsNow to the part of the scholarship application process that produces the most anxiety - essay writing! Many people have writers block when it comes to writing about themselves. Below are some tips to help you through the process:Be personalBe specific Outline your essay - clarify your thoughtsStart in the "Middle" - write the main points of your essay first and follow up with your introduction and conclusionTake breaks - give yourself plenty of time, even days/weeks if possibleNever exceed an essay's specified word count - follow directions and only include relevant informationHave someone you trust proofread for youSponsors want to have a picture of who you are, not just that you need money. Spend some time writing your autobiographical essay. This "life story" can serve as the foundation for any and all essay questions you may be asked by sponsors. It is a great way to brainstorm and get your experiences and current direction down on paper. Bring more depth to your essay by writing about the impact life occurrences or circumstances have had on your outlook, passion for your field, dedication to education, and so on. Spending the time writing your life story will help solidify and strengthen your scholarship essays. The Bellevue College Writing Lab offers free quarterly workshops that can help you in improving your writing skills. For additional information visit
  • Add keyword listGREAT BOOLEAN SEARCH SITE: him:
  • Federal Trade Commission PAY MONEY FOR HELP WITH YOUR SCHOLARSHIP SEARCH.Any organization that requires money or that you must agree to be contacted in order to search for scholarships is NOT TO BE TRUSTED. Another red flag is if an organization requires a credit card or bank account number in order to "hold" the scholarship for you. Any unsolicited information (you are a finalist for a scholarship you never applied for), is also a scam. Please visit the Federal Trade Commission web site below for more information:
  •  Bellevue College Foundation ScholarshipsScholarships offered FALL and SPRING: Students Scholarship ProgramScholarships awarded through International Students Program: campus work ( you already have a social security number and if you are in current F-1 status, you can potentially work on-campus as early as your first quarter at BCC. Pay, on average, is $8.00 per hour. If your status is B-2, E-2, F-2, H-4, J-2, L-2, M-1, or M-2, as well as potentially other statuses, you can’t work on-campus or off-campus. If you are hired for an on-campus job, you must submit an On-Campus Employment Authorization form (which will be completed by you and your supervisor), to the ISP office for work authorization before you begin to work. External Scholarship DatabasesIEFA: International Education Financial Aid ( Experts ( ( ( International Scholarships ( your specific circumstances (i.e. “Scholarships for International Students” or “Scholarships for Non-US Citizens”)Severe Economic Hardship ( Students in F-1 status who have an unforeseen change in their economic situation such as substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate, unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student’s source of support, medical bills, or other substantial and unexpected expenses, and have maintained status for a full academic year, may potentially be eligible for severe economic hardship work authorization. If approved by USCIS, this authorization allows students to work off-campus for a maximum of 19 hours per week (part-time work) while school is in session, and a maximum of 40 hours per week (full-time work) while school is on vacation or break. Severe economic hardship work authorization can be potentially issued for a maximum of one-year or until the end of your studies, whichever comes first. It does not affect your ability to apply for optional practical training or subtract from the employment time. Please contact the International Student Programs (ISP) office in House 6 or (425) 564-3185 to meet with an advisor and discuss if you are eligible for this option.Other Informational Resources· eduPASS ( A site providing comprehensive information to students wishing to study in the United States including advise about applying for financial aidFunding for United States Study ( Funding for United States Study is the most comprehensive directory on finding funding for study in the United States.WWU Transfer Scholarship / Global Ambassadors Program: A transfer program for students planning to attend Western Washington University.
  • Scholarship Tax LawsThere are no scholarships that I am eligible forAre scholarships are only for the “really smart” or “really poor”?How much money are most scholarships worth?Do they cover living expenses?Do I get taxed? What happens to my financial aid when I win a scholarship?Typically, what are the deadlines for scholarships?Do I need lots of community service?Where does the money come?Do I have to be enrolled in the school? How does community service increase my chances for receiving a scholarship? Reality: full-ride scholarshipsReality: most people can find a list of scholarships they are elibible for but they do not know where to look.Scholarships are only for the “really smart” or “really poor” Reality: many scholarships are “merit” or “need” based. However, many more are based on ones field of study or background. Scholarships are as diverse as people are.What is a scholarship?A scholarship is a financial award that is offered by an organization or "sponsor". Each sponsor determines the terms of this award. Some sponsors want the money to be spent on tuition and books only, and others are willing to assist with living expenses. The criteria, application and selection processes are all unique to each scholarship sponsor. Some sponsors will notify you within a few weeks of their deadline that you have been chosen; others may take months. Remember that each scholarship process is different. Do I have to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?Filling out the FAFSA is a helpful part of funding your education. You might find out that you are eligible for financial aid to assist with your education expenses. Also, many sponsors use the FAFSA to determine financial need. Remember to fill out a FAFSA every year. The FAFSA is available in January and the priority deadline for Bellevue College is April 16th. The deadline for the FAFSA every year is June 30th. The FAFSA can be completed on their website, What happens to my financial aid when I get a scholarship?Working closely with our Financial Aid office is extremely important to determine how each scholarship will affect your financial aid package. If you receive a scholarship it will be added to your financial aid package and any excess funds will be awarded to you. If it becomes necessary to adjust your financial aid award based upon the amount of scholarship money you have received, loans will be eliminated first, followed by work study, waivers and then grants. The Pell Grant will never be reduced. Do I need a high GPA in order to get a scholarship?It certainly can't hurt! Each scholarship is different but many require at least a minimum of a 2.0 GPA. Merit scholarships will require at least a 3.0 GPA if not higher. Do not be discouraged if your GPA isn't great, there are scholarships available that will focus on your achievements, financial needs, community involvement and activities. It is important to apply for scholarships that best fit your circumstances. Typically, what are the deadlines for scholarships? Scholarship "season" is from January until April. These awards are for the following fall term. While spring is the prime time to apply for scholarships, there are many that are offered throughout the year. Some hard work and persistence will pay off, especially because fewer people are applying for scholarships in the "off season". Many scholarships are only available annually; missing the deadline will mean waiting another year for a chance at that scholarship. How does community service increase my chances for receiving a scholarship? Being involved in your community through volunteerism or membership in community organizations can set you apart from other applicants. Community service is a desired quality often looked for by scholarship sponsors. Many applications will include essay questions related to community service. Sponsors want to invest in people who demonstrate that they value serving others and giving back to their community.
  • Pay for School: How to Find & Win Scholarships

    1. 1. Pay for School[Finding & Winning Scholarships]<br />Center for Career Connections & Women’s Center<br />Scholarship Resource Program<br />
    2. 2. Agenda<br />What are Scholarships?<br />Where Do I Start?<br />Getting Organized & Prepared<br />Where Do I look for Scholarships?<br />Additional Sources of Funding at BC<br />International Students<br />
    3. 3. Getting Some Money…<br />Scholarships rarely pay for non-academic expenses.<br />Get ready to work. Applications taketime…<br />We have other resources…<br />Food <br />Housing<br />Clothing<br />Childcare<br />and more!<br />Consider finding a part-time job or trying to access other resources to pay for your expenses.<br />
    4. 4. What’s in the Name?Scholarships, Grants, Prizes, Fellowships<br />Scholarships: monetary assistance given for either achievement (usually academic) or need. Sometimes a combination of both. They do not need to be repaid but may carry requirements that must be maintained to keep them. <br />Grants: typically provided by the state or federal government. This does not need to be paid back and is usually given based on financial need. Grants are often given for graduate or postgraduate research. Sometimes people confuse the word “grants” for all levels of financial assistance. <br />Prizes: money that you win in a contest that is intended to be used for school (example: art contest, or an essay).<br />Fellowships:paid to an individual to aid in the pursuit of study or research, usually at the graduate or postgraduate levels. <br />
    5. 5. Where to Start? FAFSA<br />APPLY for the (FAFSA)<br />[Free Application for Federal Student Aid]<br />If eligible, you may be able to fund your school with a grant or a low-interest loan<br />Some scholarships require a copy of your FAFSA report even if you are not eligible for financial aid.<br />Need help? Multicultural Services (MCS) can guide you through the application process. <br />Watch the tutorial from the financial aid website<br />FAFSA Deadlines<br />Summer 2010 <br />March 1st, 2010<br />Fall 2010 (Priority Funding) April 16, 2010 <br />
    6. 6. First: Get Organized <br />
    7. 7. Getting Prepared:Letters of Recommendation<br />Who can you ask?<br />Teacher<br />Employer<br />Community leader<br />Athletic coach<br />Club coordinator<br />Advisor<br />Counselor<br />Religious leader<br />Volunteer coordinator<br />NO FAMILY MEMBERS<br />Personal | Professional | Academic<br />Sample Letters of Recommendation Online!<br />
    8. 8. Getting Prepared:Letters of Recommendation<br />When do you start?<br />What do you ask?<br />Start right away!<br />Allow three weeks notice to receive them<br />Do not pressure them, provide the option to say no<br />Ask if they would be willing to alter the scholarship in the future<br />Ask them if they would be able and willing to write a “good” letter of recommendation for you<br />Help “coach” them <br />Talking about your yourself, scholarships you are applying for, educational and career goals, and any relevant extracurricular activities<br />Request that they addressed the letter to the “Dear Scholarship Committee”<br />Follow-up a week before the application is due<br />Send a thank you note for their help<br />Notify them if you win any awards<br />
    9. 9. Essays & Personal Statements<br />Always positive<br />Make it personal & engaging<br />Show evidence <br />Check and double check your work!<br />Follow the directions<br />Visit the Writing Lab<br />Write a general essay<br />Research the donor<br />Check online for essay samples<br />Personal Statement<br />Guidelines & Tips <br />
    10. 10. Essays & Personal Statements Tips<br />Examples of Essay Topics<br />Academics<br />Leadership<br />Community service<br />Extracurricular activities<br />Goals<br />Background & influences<br />Personal achievements<br />Pertinent social issues<br />Financial need<br />Sample Essays & Personal Statements Online!<br />
    11. 11. Additional Materials<br />Tip:<br />Many scholarship materials are similar to an application for a university or graduate school. Hit two targets at once!<br />
    12. 12. Where to Look for Scholarships<br />Bellevue College Scholarship Site<br />Bellevue College Foundation<br />Scholarship boards: <br /><br /><br /><br />Google & keywords<br />King Country Library <br />Check other schools<br />Professional associations<br />Religious & volunteer organizations, parent’s employers, etc.<br />
    13. 13. Scholarship Scams<br />Fees for scholarships<br />You are the finalist! “But I never applied?”<br />Guaranteed scholarship searching<br />Free seminar<br />Too good to be true<br />CHECK the Federal Trade Commission<br />
    14. 14. International & Non-Resident Scholarships<br />
    15. 15. Additional Sources of Funding<br /> | Bellevue College Financial Aid website. Veteran&apos;s Benefits Links | Veteran&apos;s Benefits Information. | Worker Retraining Program. | Language & Employment Skills Training. | Career Education Options. STEPP Links | Student Tuition Pre-Payment Plan (STEPP).<br />Phi Theta Kappa | International Honor Society at Bellevue College<br />Foundation | The Bellevue College Foundation<br />
    16. 16. Frequently Asked Questions & Comments<br />There are no scholarships that I am eligible for<br />Are scholarships are only for the “really smart” or “really poor”?<br />How much money are most scholarships worth?<br />Do they cover living expenses?<br />Do I get taxed? <br />What happens to my financial aid when I win a scholarship?<br />Typically, what are the deadlines for scholarships?<br />Do I need lots of community service?<br />Where does the money come?<br />Do I have to be enrolled in the school? <br />How does community service increase my chances for receiving a scholarship? <br />
    17. 17. Center for Career Connections & The Women’s Center <br />