The Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid is committed to helping Hokies connect with as many scholarship opportunities as possible, whether they be university, college and departmental, or outside opportunities. There is a scholarship opportunity out there for every Hokie. National Scholarship Month is a perfect time to remind everyone to start their scholarship searches for 2023-24 now.
Before being considered for any University Scholarships and Financial Aid-administered scholarships, Hokies must take two important steps: Complete the FAFSA and the General Scholarship Application. Both are open for 2023-24 right now. For maximum scholarship consideration, complete each of these before Jan. 22.
Three thousand two hundred and fourteen scholarship opportunities are available in Scholarship Central for 2023-24. Scholarship Central allows students to search for scholarships and also makes recommendations for scholarships that appear to match each student’s qualifications. After completing their General Scholarship Application, students should remember to do their college’s scholarship application (if one is offered). The Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid also strongly encourages all Hokies to apply for each scholarship opportunity that is a good match.
Students should not let scholarship requirements, like essays, deter them from applying for a scholarship. Each student’s skills, talents, and experiences are unique. Also, Students should not let the actual work of writing an essay keep them from applying for a scholarship. Most essays do not have long length requirements, so completing them ahead of time should not be stressful.
Scholarship Central also makes it easy for students to complete other requirements for their scholarships. For example, some scholarships require references. Students can request these references directly through Scholarship Central. (Students should reach out to their references first to let them know they are applying and to expect an email from Scholarship Central.) Students can also complete their thank-yous for their donors and sign FERPA releases directly in Scholarship Central to make all those “next steps” easier.
In 2022-23, Hokies have received over $18.5 million in Virginia Tech scholarships that were privately funded by donors. These scholarship donors make all the difference in helping Hokies complete their degrees. For Hokies who receive a scholarship, writing a well-crafted thank-you letter is a meaningful way to show the donor how the scholarship has helped. Some tips for writing a meaningful thank-you letter include actually naming the scholarship the student received and making sure to actually say thank-you. Also, be specific. Students should Share personal information in the thank-you note, like their major, their hometown, and how this scholarship helps you.
Virginia Tech’s students are extremely competitive, and many Hokies receive outside scholarships from high schools, local organizations, places of worship, and employers. Many Hokies also receive well-known national scholarships. In fact, thus far in 2022-23, Hokies have received over $8 million in outside scholarships.
Students should start their outside scholarship search early. They would begin with opportunities in their local community, and then broaden the search to national opportunities. Many local scholarships go unawarded. National scholarships are more competitive and often have more complex applications, but their awards can be larger and are often renewable.
There are many wonderful outside scholarship providers, but be sure to keep a few things in mind to stay safe. Scholarship applications should be free. Never pay to find or apply for scholarships. Do not give out private or sensitive information, like a Social Security number. Students should carefully review the terms of each scholarship opportunity and make sure they are applying through reputable sites. If something does not feel right about an outside scholarship opportunity, students should trust their instincts and do additional research before sharing information with an outside organization.
University Scholarships and Financial Aid is here to help students with your scholarship search. Any student with questions about Scholarship Central or needing some tips for starting their scholarship search, should not hesitate to send University Scholarships and Financial Aid an email or schedule a chat.