Using technology to grab more scholarship money

February 20, 2013

Having enough money to get through college comfortably may require college scholarships and grants for those who can't afford or aren't willing to take out loans. Paying for the experience out of pocket is rarely an option, so finding alternative ways of tracking down the best scholarship opportunities is optimal. Here are some tips for financing college that can help you utilize the latest in technology trends to take advantage of new funding opportunities.

Advanced search tools
The availability of specialized search tools goes well beyond typing keywords into Google or Bing. Fox Business wrote that college scholarship search engines and other resources exist to help students find the kinds of awards they qualify for, as well as those within a certain deadline time frame or with specific submission requirements. By taking one of the most difficult steps out of the process, just finding the funding opportunities can help people better manage and streamline their application processes.

Word processing resources
Surprisingly enough, not all students utilize word processors when it comes to typing up scholarship essays or creating cover letters. This can result in egregious formatting, grammar and spelling errors that make an application look unprofessional and may even disqualify someone from an award.

For those who think they have to use a program like Microsoft Word, which is expensive to procure for most, online resources like Google Drive have free writing and spell check options that can put a professional face on every application. One great tip when you apply for a college scholarship is to reuse these essays and change up names and dates to fit the particular program. This is much easier with a word processor.

Be ruled by creativity
This is a bit abstract, but as the Huffington Post wrote, tackling obstacles like filing for college scholarships is easier to do when people take an artistic, progressive or alternative view toward the subject. Instead of thinking of each application as a routine form to fill out, personalize every submission. If programs allow, build multimedia resources or use slideshows instead of standard text documents. Thinking outside the box can pay off in a big way, making an application memorable and different from the sometimes thousands of forms that review boards have to go through. Most of all, these will feel like the most honest submissions, since students will have to search inside themselves and think a little more about each response.

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