Answer: Never be shy about applying for scholarships.
At the University of Chicago, as with many schools, applicants need not submit any additional materials in order to be considered for merit scholarships. And many scholarship committees are looking for similar attributes in applicants—intelligence, creativity, ambition, academic and extracurricular accomplishments, etc.
At the University of Chicago, we look in particular for students who exhibit a strong intellectual curiosity in all their endeavors, who have embraced the spirit of inquiry that we believe defines our institution. We might find something outstanding in an applicant’s essay; it may be an interesting project a student has undertaken—we don’t have any specific formula we adhere to when selecting merit scholars.
And, of course, there are many local and demographic-specific scholarships available to supplement university aid. My best advice: never be shy about applying for the one-off scholarship. You never know which one you’ll get.
Answer: Look carefully, you may find a scholarship just for you.
The key to getting a scholarship is research. Start with your guidance counselor and college financial aid offices. Beyond traditional scholarships for academic achievement, there are literally thousands of special and unusual scholarships out there, each with its own requirements.
These scholarships may emphasize community service, leadership or work experience. Others are for students with very specific interests and talents. The Vegetarian Resource Group offers $5000 each to two students who promote vegetarianism in their school and community; the American Association of Candy Technologists offers $5000 to one lucky student interested in a career in the candy industry. There are even scholarships for left handedness, twins, knitters and skateboarders.
Make sure to do your homework; look at all the details. Pick those scholarships that match your interests and qualifications. Proofread your application. Then, proofread it again. And most importantly, don’t miss the deadline!
Answer: Consult your college counselor first.
While it is unlikely that a Facebook post is going to be seen by an admissions officer, it could be in the following instances, so do not risk it. An admissions officer looks up your name on the Internet to learn more about an award you won and stumbles onto your Facebook page.
Or you are being considered for a prestigious scholarship or special recognition along with your admissions, so to ensure they do not end up looking foolish the college or university does some digging. Finally, you can give ammunition to someone who has a score to settle with you that they anonymously share with admissions. Don’t take the chance.
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