After the excitement of getting your acceptance letter wears off, every college applicant is faced with the same dilemma: how to pay for everything. It’s no secret that student loans, the most widely available and easily accessible way to finance your education, are fraught with danger.
Grants and scholarships are hands-down the best forms of financial assistance available to college students. You don’t have to pay them back, and, since they usually require you to maintain a certain GPA, they help you to focus on your studies.
While most students apply for scholarships before they start their first semester, it’s not uncommon to find that your expenses are higher than expected, or that new scholarship opportunities have become available. Sometimes you’ll even find that you’ve become eligible for a scholarship that you previously wouldn’t have qualified for.
So, what can you do in these situations?
Can you apply for a college scholarship while in college?
The short answer is yes! You can certainly apply for a college scholarship while you’re still in college. In fact, many scholarships are only awarded for one semester or one school year at a time, requiring you to reapply for them each year.
And, of course, sometimes entirely new scholarships are created. While these are sometimes restricted to freshmen, they’re usually available to students at all stages of their college career. You may also find that, as a result your academic performance, you become eligible for scholarships that you didn’t qualify for based on your high school GPA.
How to apply for scholarships when you’re already in college.
Applying for scholarships when you’re already in college is essentially the same process as applying for them before you’re in college. However, there’s actually one key advantage you have when you’re applying for them as someone who’s already in college: you have easier access to the financial aid office at your school.
While you should be able to get help from that office before your first semester after you’ve been accepted, it’s still easier to do when you’re already in college. That’s because you’re physically there, on campus, and can walk into the financial aid office in person. You can build a relationship with the people working there.
This way, you can get even more help navigating the world of financial aid. They can help you identify additional scholarships you haven’t applied for, and might even know of scholarships that you didn’t know existed.
Another advantage you’ll have when you’re applying for scholarships as a college student comes from your professors. It’s common for scholarships applications to require recommendation letters, and there’s nobody better to write that for you than a college professor.
It’s definitely possible, and even common, for students already in college to apply for scholarships. While there may be some scholarships that are exclusively for incoming freshmen, most scholarships are open to any college student. In fact, between having easier access to the financial aid office, and having college professors who can write your letter of recommendation, you may find it easier to qualify for some scholarships after you’ve started college.