What are scholarships and how do you get them?
Scholarships are gift-money that can be used towards your direct educational costs as well as your additional costs that can include living expenses, additional supplies, and housing. Scholarships do not need to be repaid.
There are thousands of scholarships available to students offered by schools, employers, individuals, private companies, nonprofits, communities, religious groups and professional and social organizations.
Some scholarships are merit-based and some just simply need an application. Douglas Education Center offers institutional and non-institutional scholarships. The institutional scholarships are funded by the school and include the “IDEA” Inspiration and Dedication to Excellence Award, the DEC “Star” Scholarship for Cosmetology Students and the Tammy Savage Scholarship for medical assistant students.
Recent DEC grad and “Face Off” winner Nora Hewitt recently announced the winner of the first ever Nora Hewitt Scholarship for a student enrolled in the Tom Savini Special Makeup Effects program.
For high school seniors, now is the best time to get started on a scholarship search. You can go to your high school’s guidance counselor’s office to find scholarships you might qualify for or you can use scholarship search engines.
Scholarships are the most under-used fund source for students because it’s up to the student to find and apply for the scholarships. Schools couldn’t possibly catalogue all of the different scholarships available to students; which show just how many scholarships there are.
Scholarships can be merit-based or offered for a variety of reasons or categories.
When looking and applying for scholarships keep a few things in mind to avoid scams or avoid applying for scholarships that won’t work for your specific situation or educational goals.
- Do not pay for a scholarship application: This is a good indication of a scam. Scholarships are intended to help students pay for school, not charge them money.
- Check the scholarship requirements to make sure it fits your needs: Make sure you’re not applying for a scholarship that can only be used at a four-year university if you are planning to attend a two-year technical school. Also, if you are out-of-state, make sure you can use the scholarship funds in a different state.
- Read the application requirements and deadlines: Make sure the scholarship application deadline aligns with when you plan to start school and be sure to submit all of the application requirements so your application can be considered.
- Put the time and effort into your application submission: If receiving a scholarship is important to you, then the work involved in obtaining that scholarship should be equally as important.
Remember, every dollar you earn in scholarship money is a dollar you may not have to borrow in student loans so in this case the work really will pay off!