Club Chronicles: Scholarships – Take advantage of these gifts

Scholarship deadlines are fast approaching.   

Scholarships are gifts. They don’t need to be repaid. There are thousands of them, offered by schools, employers, individuals, private companies, nonprofits, communities, religious groups and colleges and professional and social organizations.

Scholarships are one of the best ways for students to pay for college.

The only way to receive scholarships is to apply. While many scholarships require extensive applications and essays, others are more straightforward and easier to apply for.

A scholarship might cover the entire cost of your tuition, or it might be a one-time award of a few hundred dollars. Either way, it’s worth applying for because it’ll help reduce the cost of your education.

Each scholarship has its own requirements. Check out the scholarship’s website, which should give you an idea of who qualifies and how to apply.

Also check with your school guidance counselors for information regarding scholarship applications. Make sure you read the application carefully, fill it out completely and meet the application deadline.

Many organizations, colleges, alumni, military institutions and schools award academic, service, athletic and memorial scholarships. Locally, some of these include the Cattlemen’s Association; GFWC Book Lovers Study Club; Cultura Garden Club; Civitan Club; Rotary Club; Kiwanis Club; Masonic Lodge; RCS Foundation; Franklin County Chamber of Commerce; and numerous memorial scholarships.

Many of these local organizations work year-round holding fundraisers so they can present these scholarships to the deserving students who apply.

Others scholarships available include the Army College Fund; U.S. Navy College Fund; GFWC Alabama Federation of Women’s Clubs; Delta Kappa Gamma; Retired Educators Association; and scholarships direct from particular schools, including Northwest-Shoals Community College, the University of North Alabama, Calhoun Community College, Athens State University, UAH, UAB, The University of Alabama, Auburn University and others.

The money might go directly to the college of your choice, where it will be applied to any tuition, fees or other amounts you owe, or it might be sent directly to you as a check. The scholarship provider should tell you what to expect when it informs you that you’ve been awarded the scholarship.

When you receive a scholarship, by all means, send a written personal thank-you note to the organization or individual that is awarding your scholarship gift. Some scholarships have been discontinued because of lack of applicants or recipients’ lack of gratitude.