Scholarships are FREE money to help you to go to college. Some are based on need, academic or athletic achievement, employment or organization membership, or just plain chance. Effort is required on your part to find available scholarships, complete the applications, write your essay, and submit the required materials. But the effort you put forth can be rewarded with the money you receive.
WYOMING scholarship search quick links
*Casper College Financial Aid
*Casper College Scholarship Portal
This portal allows you to apply for all Casper College Foundation and Institutional Scholarships. If you are planning on attending college in the fall, you will need to sign onto STARS between January and March 1 to complete the process. March 1 is the priority deadline for Casper College (and probably many others).
Casper College has a listing of external scholarships on their website.
*University of Wyoming Financial Aid
UW has a listing of external scholarships on their site.
Tips for applying for scholarships
*Don’t pay for scholarship searches. Think of it this way: Why would you pay someone to give you money? +Search online. +Check your school counselor’s office, your church, your parent’s employer, etc. +If you plan to attend Casper College, make sure you register on the Scholarship Portal.
*Scholarship applications take time. Plan time in your schedule to work on writing your essay(s), asking for recommendations, getting organized, searching for scholarships, etc. Make that a one or two hour weekly commitment. If you tackle the process in chunks, it is less daunting. DON’T wait until the last minute.
*Be organized. Start a file system so you can access what you need quickly and easily.
*Ask for recommendations early. The person may need time to collect their thoughts. It is also helpful if you provide them with a resume or list of your achievements.
*Who should you ask to write a letter of recommendation? Just like on a job application, you want to ask an adult who knows your strengths. That could be a teacher, pastor, job supervisor, the neighbor you mow the lawn for, etc. Your professional references should NOT be someone who is related to you.
*How many references do you need? It is better to have more than you need rather than not enough. Most job applications ask for three, so that would be a good start. Make sure you make a copies of the recommendation letters you receive so you only need to ask that person once, rather than each time you complete an application.
*Proofread. Your application is possibly the first and ONLY impression you will make. Make sure you either type all of your application materials or complete in blue/black ink and legible handwriting.
*Send all required information in one envelope.
*Deadlines. Keep track of them and be early.
Is it better to write your final paper the hour before it is due or work on it little by little in the time between when it is assigned and when it is due? Sure, some people work better in a time crunch, but experts advise that you give this part of the process your time and attention.
Use these four steps when writing your essays: Brainstorm, Organize, Research, Write.
Structure & Format
-Remember what you have learned in English class. You will need an introduction, body, and conclusion.
-Make your essay personal, be unique and memorable, and remember your audience.
-Proofread. Have someone (or many people) you trust read your essay and check for spelling, grammar, word choice, etc. Show rather than tell. Again remember this essay is how the scholarship committee will get to know you and what differentiates you from the rest of the candidates.
Here are a few articles with more tips, hints, and help.
4 Ways to Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out (http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/the-scholarship-coach/2013/01/31/4-ways-to-make-your-scholarship-essay-stand-out)
Top To Tips for Writing Effective Scholarship Essays (http://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarship-application-strategies/top-10-tips-for-writing-effective-scholarship-essays/)
Write a Scholarship Worthy Essay (http://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarship-application-strategies/write-a-scholarship-worthy-essay/)
Some scholarships applications will ask you to answer a specific question related to the field of study or scholarship interest. Others may simply ask you to write an essay of a specific length explaining why you are the best deserving candidate.
*What are your educational and career goals?
Really think about and construct the answer to this question. While you don’t have to have it all planned out now, many college and scholarship applications will ask you to write about this topic. If you have an answer, you are one step ahead.
Also consider the answers to the following:
*What struggles have you overcome in your life?
*What skills have you acquired that will make you successful?
*Why do you want to go to college?
One parent mentioned that the scholarship application she and her student found online had a 20 minute time limit for completing the essay. In this case, having an outline or essay draft (proofread and ready to go) saved on your computer will allow you to copy and paste and change any information that would be specific to that specific scholarship.