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As the cost of a college education rises, Chaldean students are finding ways to foot the bill. Chaldean Students have won scholarships to pay their way through school. What's their secret?
They know where to find scholarships, when to look for them and how to write for them. There's no guarantee you'll win a scholarship, but there are ways to skew the odds in your favor.
Where's the Money: Anywhere and Everywhere
Do your homework.
Chaldean students seeking scholarship money should take advantage of free online scholarship searches, such as the following listed below:
FastWeb Scholarship Search
The FastWeb Scholarship Search is the largest, most accurate and most popular free scholarship search site, with more than 35 million registered users. It is also the most frequently updated and provides automatic email notification of new scholarships that match the student's profile. The FastWeb Scholarship Search was the first scholarship database available for free on the web and is the most innovative and student-focused of all the scholarship search sites.
College Board's FUND FINDER
The College Board's FUND FINDER scholarship database lists scholarships and other types of financial aid programs from 3,300 national, state, public and private sources. The database is updated annually.
The Scholarships.com database has good coverage of awards and a fairly precise match, but some of the scholarship entries in the Scholarships.com database appear to contain old information.
More Specialized Scholarship Databases
In addition to the scholarship databases listed above, there are also several other free scholarship databases specific to a particular major. These databases are smaller, but also more tightly focused. Be sure to check out the Scholarly Societies and Professional Organizations page.
Also, research the Web sites of colleges you want to attend because they have information about scholarships. The reference section in the library provides books and resources of federal, national and state sources of college aid. The library also has scholarship directories that list awards based on age, state of residence, cultural background or field of study.
Search in your community.
Talk to your school's counselor.
They know your academic record inside and out. Ask them about private and corporate sponsorships that you qualify for and be persistent. Chaldean students need to be aggressive and consistently remind their counselor about their college interests and needs. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets oiled.
Chaldeans shouldn’t limit themselves.
There are also scholarships for unique talents and abilities. Don't confine yourself to academic scholarships or big national awards. Small awards will come in handy too. There are also awards for those who are athletic, artistic, and religious.
Chaldeans should start early.
It's never too soon to start your scholarship search. Some organizations give college scholarships as early as sophomore year in high school. There are also programs that you can qualify for that act as scholarships. For instance, Chaldean students can enroll in programs that allow you to only take two years of undergraduate study in college and automatically be accepted into a professional school like law or medicine. This in essence is a two year scholarship.
Chaldeans should be prepared in advance:
Make a list. Focus on deadlines. List the scholarships with the earliest deadlines and give them first priority.
Of the books you have read in the past year, which was your favorite and why?
What is your strongest characteristic and why? What is your weakest?
What person, living or dead, has had the biggest influence on your life?
Make an outline.
Depending on the essay question, pick one main theme to focus the essay and select three ideas that support your theme. Your first paragraph should introduce the main idea and provide any relevant background information, but avoid simply summarizing the essay. The other paragraphs should highlight one idea per paragraph. Wrap up the essay with a conclusion. Most essays should be no longer than two pages single spaced.
Show, don't tell.
It's easy to say, "Having immigrant parents made things more difficult." But it's better to show the reader why: "The mounting pressure to handle traditional parental duties was frightening. If I made a mistake I could harm the ones I love the most. I often had to translate and handle the processing of bills and letters for my parents, wait in long apathetic lines to fill out confusing forms, or sit in somber emergency rooms holding my dad’s hand reassuring him that the doctors are aware of his pain and that he is waiting on them.” Include scenery so the reader can visualize your essay, rather than just read it.
Many selection committees will automatically reject applications with misspelled words and grammatical errors.
It's possible for all Chaldeans to go to college.
Don't be discouraged by the price tag on your favorite school. The Chaldean Education and Career Center often holds scholarship workshops, college admission application sessions, and SAT/ACT testing preparation events to help Chaldean students.