It’s scholarship season at UMass, and there are at least three reasons I can think of off the top of my head that you should apply for every scholarship that comes around while you’re here.
First, it’s easy money. Whether it’s $500 or $5000, it’s a bite (or a nibble) out of your college expenses and the debt you or your parents may be incurring. The more scholarships, the more nibbles, and the less debt you carry post-graduation. Given the cost of law school, every little bit you can save now will help tremendously later on. All for the time it takes you to fill out a form and perhaps write a brief essay in support of your application.
Second, competitive merit-based scholarships look great on your résumé, both because you were found by a university committee to have bested your peers, but also because it demonstrates you took the initiative to seek out and apply for these scholarships.
Finally, it’s excellent practice in persuasive self-promotion, a skill you’re going to need to hone as you move forward, whether it’s for law school personal statements, job applications, or marketing your niche law firm. You need to get used to valuing yourself and convincing others of that value.
So where do you find all this easy money? I’ve gathered some links for you below.
University scholarship database search page. Yes, that’s a thing—one-stop searchable shopping for all the scholarships offered at the University.
There’s also an Office of National Scholarship Advisement on campus, to help you with nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships.
College- and school-based scholarships. Every college at the University offers its own scholarships to its majors. I’ve linked below to scholarship pages for the largest colleges/schools.
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
College of Humanities and Fine Arts
Commonwealth Honors College
Isenberg School of Management
College of Natural Sciences
Department-based scholarships. Most individual departments offer scholarships to their majors as well. For example, Political Science scholarships are listed here and you can find scholarships for English majors here. Look on the website(s) for your major(s), and if you don’t find anything, ask an academic advisor.
Most scholarship applications are due by mid- to late February, so you need to get on this right away. Remember that if you’re a double major, or in the Honors College, you can apply to more than one department or college.
As Alec Baldwin would say:
They’re sitting out there waiting to give you their money.
Are you going to take it?