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Maximizing Scholarship Opportunities

“Without scholarships, I cannot afford Semester at Sea…”

I hear this phrase time and again, and you are likely nodding in agreement. How can you ensure that you are receiving all the scholarships you are eligible for? The first and simplest answer is to apply. The only sure thing about scholarships is that you will not receive one if you don’t apply. Apply even if you fall a little short of the criteria because “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Tips on applying for ISE Scholarships:

  1. Allow yourself time to think about the essay prompt and answer the question. If the question asks for a goal, don’t list past accomplishments, you will have another place to list these.
  2. Spell Check! Nothing takes away from the content and intent of your essay more than a misspelling.
  3. Read the essay again. There are many errors that spell check cannot correct.
  4. Turn the application in on time. Listed dates are not postmark dates. Late applications often do not make the initial reviews and are handicapped as a result.
  5. If an application asks for financial information, take the time to provide any information that a financial statement cannot.

What else can I do?

There are many ways to obtain the necessary funds.

  1. Federal Aid- Many schools will transfer federal aid and loans through a consortium. Talk with your financial aid office.
  2. Outside Scholarships- A plethora of scholarships are available. You only need to devote time and energy to search and apply for them.
  3. Community- Many community organizations offer scholarships. Search community and local business sites.
  4. Employers- Many companies offer tuition assistance for employees and their children.
  5. Family- With advance planning, you can request donations in lieu of presents for birthdays, etc.

Finding and applying for scholarships is time-consuming and can be labor intensive, but your journey of a lifetime depends on your efforts. Benjamin Franklin succinctly summed this up when he said, “Time is money” and “Investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Spring 2023 Voyager, Brooke Albert, shared how she worked with her home institution to fill a funding gap in financing her Semester at Sea Voyage.

It really means everything. Not just for being here right now, but I know that it’s going to have lasting impacts for the rest of my life.

Want to learn more about Semester at Sea Grants and Scholarships?
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