Thursday, July 22, 2010

Easy Scholarships May be Closer Than You Think

OK, let's be serious.  How easy do you expect a scholarship application to be?  It's true that some are very easy to apply for.  This is especially true with promotional scholarships.  What does "promotional" mean?

Well, let's put it this way.  When the local Daughters of the American Revolution sponsor an essay contest, that's probably not promotional.  When a bank that specializes in student loans offers a scholarship, that most likely is promotional in nature.  In other words, they're trying to promote their business.

There is nothing wrong with a promotional scholarship.  And the application might require only the completion of a brief web form.  You should recognize two things though.  First, they will try to sell you--something. 

Second, your odds of winning are not good.  Think about it.  They have to make more money on the promotion than they spend, or it's a loser from their point of view.

Another way to evaluate scholarships is not based on how "easy" they are, but on a "risk reward" basis.  The risk is the use of your time (you should NEVER pay any type of application or processing fee).  The reward, of course, is the scholarship.

To have the best chance of winning, look close to home.  If your school is like mine, your high school guidance office has information on many scholarships awarded locally.  That drops your risk, and maybe gets you the reward you want!

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