Just when you decide that an online bachelors degree in business is for you, you realize you don't know how you are going to pay for it. Congratulations! Unless you have chosen one of the most inexpensive online degree programs, you are probably about to embark on your first business adventure - finding a scholarship or scholarships to fund your degree.
After the FAFSA but Before the Loan App
After you have turned in a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), but before you apply for a student loan, be sure that you look for a scholarship. A scholarship is money given for tuition, and sometimes other college expenses, that is not expected to be paid back. It can be given based on merit, skill, talent, or any other characteristic that a scholarship committee wishes to stipulate.
Scholarships, which come in any denomination, are given by a person or group of persons that have money to give, and choose to give it to a student. The application will spell out the guidelines and explain who is eligible to apply. It will often explain what the group or person is looking for in a candidate.
There Could be Lots of Needles in the Haystack - But You Gotta Look
I can't get a scholarship. I never win anything. Those are the attitudes of people that don't try. And if you are one of them, get over it. You can only get a scholarship if you try.
But if you do succeed at earning a scholarship for your online bachelors degree in business, don't stop at one. It might take many scholarships to get you through two, four, six, or even eight years of college. Scholarships are often a one-time award. Once you have received a scholarship you will have to apply again to get it again (if the organization allows repeat customers). And even though you get turned down for a particular scholarship one year, reapply the next. Your circumstances change from year to year and the circumstances surrounding the scholarship also change. There may be fewer applicants, or you might become more qualified.
So Where are the Haystacks
You will find scholarship opportunities in some very obvious places as well as some not so obvious places. The following are the types of organizations where you might find scholarships for your online bachelors degree in business:
· Professional Associations - for example, if you are going to be a CPA, check with your state's CPA association or the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants
· Clubs - such as the Italian American Club or Lions Clubs International
· Employers - either yours', your spouse's, or your parents'
· Foundations - both local and national
· Religious Institutions
· Organizations for Which You Volunteer
· Minority-owned Businesses or Associations for Minorities
There are also resources you can turn to that will help point you to additional organizations that offer scholarships for an online bachelors degree in business. The following resources are usually free to use:
· High School Guidance Counselor
· Scholarship Books at the Library
· The Institution Which You Will Be Attending
· Chambers of Commerce
In addition, you can find professionals that make a living at helping people find scholarships and financial aid. Although they can be found on the Internet, your best bet would be to get recommendations from your guidance counselor, college financial aid office, or friends. Once you find a resource, make sure you check their references or find out if they are reputable by checking with the Better Business Bureau.
So treat this as your first business plan. Lay out your goals, do the research, and reap the rewards. It is possible that your online bachelors degree in business can be funded, at least in part, through scholarships.
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