How to Answer Financial Need Questions on Scholarships

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Pay attention to the financial need questions on scholarship applications.
Pay attention to the financial need questions on scholarship applications. (Image: Vanessa Gavalya/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Junior and senior high school students face the traditional round of applying to different colleges and universities. This process includes applying for scholarships to help cover the costs of tuition, books, fees and materials. Professional associations, businesses and college endowments help in funding scholarships when you express a financial need in your applications. Remember, the people on scholarship award committees read your scholarship applications, and they want to help you.

Understand your interests and your family’s connection to different organizations and groups. Use this knowledge as you research different types of scholarships. Even if you have not decided what major you want to declare, think of the interests you have and how they could become a college major.

Look at your hobbies, activities and talents and how you can use these to apply for additional scholarship money. For instance, if you play in your high school’s jazz band, you may be able to qualify for a jazz band scholarship in college.

Narrow down the list of scholarships you want to apply for. Many organizations accept thousands of scholarships and only award one or two scholarships, according to the Scholarship Street website. Instead of spending time applying for these scholarships, use your time more wisely and apply for the ones that match your interests and talents, and where you have a better chance of winning an award.

Answer the financial need questions on college application essays. Scholarship organizations want to help worthy students who may not otherwise be able to attend college, according to the Fast Web website. These organizations include questions, such as asking how a scholarship would affect your higher education goals; what specific family (or personal) circumstances are affecting your need for financial aid; and how you have been earning your own money to pay for school. Be honest and direct as you answer these questions. According to the Fast Web website, the organizations that provide scholarship assistance want to read a personal and detailed account of your need for financial assistance.

Ask someone you trust to proofread your essay or scholarship application. Make sure it is free of errors. You should complete your scholarship applications and essays––scholarship award committees are able to spot applications written by the parents, and they consider it to be an ethical violation, according to the ScholarshipStreet.com.

Tips & Warnings

  • Start applying in your junior year, since the senior year tends to be quite busy.

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