Q:I am a junior in high school right now, and I plan on attending college in the fall of 2012. Is it too early for me to begin applying for scholarships for 2012, and are there scholarships available for 2012 yet?
A: Identifying and applying for scholarships is one of the best things any student can do to help increase their chances at getting free money for college. Many financial aid experts recommend that college-bound students (and their parents) begin looking for scholarships as early as their freshman year in high school. By identifying potential awards, students can choose classes and activities that will increase their chance at winning a specific scholarship award in the future. It is never “too early” to start identifying potential scholarships for 2012. Even though some annually reoccurring scholarships may not have available the scholarships for 2012 information or application, you can still get a good idea of the eligibility requirements.
Many scholarships that are offered in 2011 will also be offered in 2012. Identifying the scholarships for 2012 that you are interested in early, will give you plenty of time to work on satisfying the eligibility requirements. Most college scholarships are competitive and have strict deadlines, so students are discouraged from putting their scholarship search off until the last minute. There are many free resources available for finding college scholarships for 2012, and starting your search early will ensure that you are able to apply to all the scholarships that interest you. One last tip is to keep your college scholarship search ongoing throughout the year. Having an ongoing scholarships search will allow you to maximize your scholarship opportunities. New scholarships become available all of the time. There will be scholarships for 2012, which were not available in the previous year.
by Gemma Maddock