Thursday, July 19, 2012

List of Scholarships for High School Seniors Graduating in 2012

Finding the best list of scholarships for high school seniors graduating in 2012 is easy if you know a few basic techniques. It is important to recognize the types of qualifications required for different scholarships before beginning your search. Grade point average (GPA), athletic or other in-school extracurricular participation, church or other civic group volunteer work, letters of recommendation, and personal essays are all important elements in successful scholarship applications.

There are two primary ways to find the most complete listings of scholarships. First, talk with your school's guidance (or career) counselor. These trained professionals can help you find the best matches for financial aid based on on your student record and your standardized test scores. Remember to talk to the counselor about your parents' employers and any backgrounds that might qualify you for a diversity scholarship.

Many companies -- McDonald's, IBM, Wal-Mart, just to name a few -- offer scholarships to the children and other close family members of existing employees. Diversity awards are designed to encourage under-represented groups of people to attend and graduate college. Most diversity awards only require one parent have a non-caucasian background, so biracial students often qualify.

The second way to find thorough listings of scholarships is through the internet. Using Google or Bing, simply use a query string such as "high school 2012 scholarships" or "best scholarships 2012" (without the quotes) then follow the links for more information. Be sure to avoid any sites with links featuring warnings from the search engine about malware or potentially harmful content.

Links to some sites contain dangerous content (like viruses) that can execute on your computer without your permission. It is a good idea to gather information about scholarships from the internet including requirements for approval, deadlines for submissions, and types of essays or letters of recommendations considered appropriate. Take this information to your school guidance counselor or have your parent or another trusted adult help you complete the applications.

Applying online is fine provided you are sure the website is legitimate and the protocol is secure (HTTPS). Scholarship applications linked to from.GOV or.EDU domains are good examples of more trustworthy sites, but due diligence should still be exercised. Most applications do not need details such as your social security number in the initial application stage, so call via telephone to verify any applications that seem to ask odd questions like "what is your mother's maiden name?" With a little effort, you are sure to find a list of scholarships for high school seniors graduating in 2012.


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