By: Katie Wornek, UHEAA
The school year is nearly half over! If you’re getting anxious about college costs, you could ask Santa for tuition money…or you can give yourself the gift of scholarship money! Many of you will soon be on your holiday break from school. You should definitely have fun and relax – you’ve earned it!
But you should also consider using some of your free time to prepare for the rest of the school year. Here are some scholarship-related ideas to help you make the most of your winter break.
Volunteering proves that you can handle responsibilities outside of school and demonstrates that you care about your community. This is why scholarship committees often look for applicants who have volunteer experience. The holidays are about caring for others and giving back, so there are plenty of volunteer opportunities this time of year!
- Talk to your professors, advisors, and mentors to see if they know of any local organizations looking for student volunteers
- If you are a member of a church or community organization, ask about holiday-themed volunteer events they might be hosting
Work on your personal statement
The holiday season often makes people feel jolly and hopeful.
If you’re experiencing those warm and fuzzy feelings, use them to your advantage and apply them toward writing a positive, inspiring personal statement! Scholarship committees want to know what you’re passionate about, what makes you unique, and how you will use your scholarship money to obtain an education and create positive change in the world. Jot down some of those ideas, then use your winter break to polish your thoughts in a beautifully moving essay.
Complete your FAFSA
Some private scholarships require you to complete the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Consider sitting down and completing your FAFSA over the holidays. This will tell you what forms of federal student aid you may qualify for, such as grants, work-study, or federal student loans.
Set a goal to apply for at least one scholarship during your time off from school. Look on your college’s financial aid website for information about scholarships on your campus. You can also explore national scholarship databases like Unigo, Chegg, and FastWeb.
If you have any questions or need more ideas for making the most of your holiday break, our team is always here to help. The CentsibleStudent™ team wishes you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season!