The Scholarship Search and the Guidance Office

Most students should begin their scholarship search in the guidance office of their high school or college. Here they can sit down with a professional counselor who can review the student’s academic career and personal life in a way that will reveal many opportunities for scholarship funding.

The guidance office is also privy to complete information about every single scholarship available in the area surrounding the school. For example, the secretaries of a guidance office will know exactly which civic organizations are making scholarships available to the area’s students. In fact the guidance office will probably be able to provide blank applications and lists of requirements for every scholarship available.

The guidance office is also a great resource for published and printed guides for national and corporate scholarship programs. They may even have a computer workstation with access to many free or online scholarship search programs and search engines.

When using these materials a student should all ready have examined their own set of skills, interests, hobbies and achievements to reveal as many scholarship possibilities as they can. By relying on a complete set of facts and data about a student the scholarship search will be much more effective.

The guidance office of a college or university will be able to assist any currently enrolled student to locate necessary funding for their upcoming semesters, and this can include scholarships, prizes, forgivable loan opportunities and even grants or fellowships. In fact some professors and department heads will assist their students with this task and may offer the kind of recommendations that will help the student win the award.

Whatever the current academic status of a student, high school or college, an adequate preparation is necessary for a scholarship search and success. Many guidance offices or counselors work with students to help them put together an excellent resource – a scholarship “packet”. Often these are thin binders with a comprehensive overview of the student illustrated inside.

These can be as colorful and creative as the student desires, or they can be a formal and low key document, but whatever the choice the packet must contain a full description of the student’s background, achievements and interests. The documents should be appropriate to the specific requirements of a scholarship program, but can also show how diverse or focused a student’s pursuits have been.

For each scholarship application the student should leave a space in their packet for a completed application and formal essay to be inserted. Each essay should be crafted to specifically address the scholarship committee, and to convince them of the student’s worthiness and appropriateness as the chosen winner. It is great to have the guidance counselor, a teacher or a mentor proof read each essay for good grammar and clarity.