As higher education costs continue to increase, and associated living costs follow suit, parents and their children often look for alternative methods of financing higher education tuition and fees. Many institutions offer financial aid; however, individuals who are classified within certain income tax brackets do not often qualify for this form of financial assistance. Alternative options for students include applying for scholarships, for which some students may also not qualify, and student loans, which are arguably more expensive, long-term, than the actual tuition sum.
Fortunately, community-sponsored and driven organizations are becoming increasingly aware of the high costs of education and have begun to pool together financial and human resources in an attempt to put community-serving students through school, hopefully propelling them into a field of work which will give back to their communities of origin in the same ways that their communities gave to them.
Community service, in my opinion, should be done exclusively out of good will for the greater public, therefore, only dedicated, self-motivating, and truly committed students should be considered for scholastic funding through community service programs. Their dedication is often measured in the amount of time they devote to serving their communities.
Additionally, scholarship seeking students should remember that consistency is also a key element in final application decisions. Jumping into volunteer work in the final semesters of your senior year may be commendable, it certainly will not help you; however if you show a prolonged commitment to an organization, you are sure to garner a much higher degree of respect.
Overall, students considering community service related scholarships and funding should keep in mind that larger, more reputable organizations typically offer a wider variety of scholarships which allow for a greater diversity among applicants. However, you should not limit yourself to serving only larger, more structured organizations. In fact, leadership, communication, and other relevant skills are often demonstrated by dedicated students by establishing new or organizing existing community-centered organizations, which will certainly set you apart from the rest of the applicant pool.