Photo by Rik-Shaw

We spend most of the early part of our lives in school. From the elementary days of sharing to the high school days of tests, we are shuttled from one phase to another. And yet, despite so many hours spent learning, the biggest lessons are often picked up on the go. The life skills we need to mature beyond our school age years shouldn’t be left to chance.

There are no classes in how to apply for college, for example. Yet this is still a task everyone still needs to complete. Or why don’t we talk more about how to fund the key educational experience of a university education? Never before has a degree been more necessary to get our foot in the door for a job.  But it’s also harder than ever to make that dream a reality.

Sure, everyone has heard of loans or scholarships. But the biggest of these often have hundreds of thousands of applicants.

What many people don’t know is that there’s quite a few successful who can sympathize with the dizzying price tag of a university education. They want to give back and one direct way to do so is through individual based scholarships.

The application process for these smaller funds are similar to the steps you need for every step in the college admission process. You write a two page essay on a particular topic.

Often these are interesting subjects that will be easy to discuss in 500 words.

Answering “Who is your role model in life and why?” is all it takes to enter the Blake Rubin scholarship.“How will obtaining a degree in your chosen field change your life”? is the interesting question at the heart of the Kulpa family scholarship.

For the really philosophical, try answering “What is inner beauty to you?” and be considered for the Rajagopal Scholarship.

Another way to find scholarships is to apply in specific interest areas. You can look for funds based on shared mutual interests.

For example, are you interested in real estate trends or the industry as a career? The Adrian Rubin scholarship might be for you.

What about the financial industry?

The beauty of these funds is that they are for first time students or students already enrolled in college and offer an interesting intersection of subject areas like medical technology or travel and studying abroad.