Everything You Need to Know About Scholarships

DECA prepares its members for many things in life with one of the most important being college.

H_Rohan_GhiyaContinuing your education is an amazing experience, and going to college allows you to pursue your passion, learn more about yourself and have new opportunities. But it’s going to cost you!

According to U.S. News & World Report, almost 70% of college students graduate with student debt; the average amount being $37,172. The good news is that doesn’t have to be you! Today there are hundreds of thousands of scholarships available to students that you can apply for! It may be a little confusing going about it all, so here are some frequently asked questions answered:

Where can I apply for scholarships?

You can apply for scholarships pretty much anywhere! Some good websites that you can use are fastweb.com, cappex.com and scholarships.com. On these websites, you can create your own virtual profile where you answer many questions based on your GPA, grade level, intended major, etc., so that you’re looking at scholarships catered specifically to you!

What kinds of criteria are required to apply for a scholarship?

Every scholarship has its own specific criteria; some may be academic and others based on unique qualities. There are scholarships for just about anything nowadays, from being left handed to being over 6 feet tall. Many scholarships do, however, have a minimum GPA requirement and require a letter of recommendation so keep those grades up and keep your connections close.

Who should I ask to write my letter of recommendation?

Your letter of recommendation should come from someone who has a sense of your character in many ways and has known you for at least one year. Your DECA advisor is a very apt choice for letters of recommendation, since he or she gets to see many sides of you inside and outside of the classroom.

Remember to give whomever you choose at least three-four weeks to write your letter of recommendation. Chances are you won’t be the only person who will have asked and they will be taking time out of their own schedule for this favor, so be sure to thank them for their time.

Most of these scholarships are only a couple hundred dollars, and my college expenses are in the thousands. Is it even worth applying?

Yes! While the scholarships may not seem like a lot in the moment, enough of them will easily add up to quite a bit of money! Each scholarship application and essay shouldn’t take you more than two hours. If the scholarship is worth $500, you just made $250 an hour!

Does DECA have any scholarships available for me?

Yes! DECA’s Scholarship Program awards over $300,000 to high school and collegiate members each year. The deadline to apply for DECA scholarships is January 13, 2017, so get started today at deca.org/scholarships.

Follow Rohan on Twitter @decavprohan.

Categories: College, College & Career Advice, Financial Aid & Scholarships