You won't have to hold up a bank to get money for criminal justice school (not to mention, that might start off your career on the wrong foot!). But you can and should apply for criminal justice school scholarships.
Scholarships are essentially free money from private or public sources -- free in the sense that they do not need repayment. They do, however, often require that you meet a set of specific eligibility criteria.
Obtaining a criminal justice scholarship is not as difficult as it may seem. The largest obstacle is simply finding the scholarships. While great in number, criminal justice scholarships do not usually appear on billboards that beg, Criminal justice scholarships available! Please take me! It's up to you to take the initiative and find them.
Who Offers Criminal Justice Scholarships?
Criminal justice scholarships can be obtained from several sources, including businesses, the government, and non-profit organizations, but the biggest source just may be the schools themselves!
And check out these scholarship search engines:
Winning Criminal Justice Scholarships
Along with writing a great essay (if required) and meeting other requirements, the largest parts of winning scholarships are time and organization.
Just about every scholarship has a set application deadline. Once you find a suitable scholarship, apply immediately; don't wait. And it's important to take a proactive role. If you requested an application packet and you didn't receive it in the specified amount of delivery time, follow up to make sure it's been sent or request that a new one be mailed (or e-mailed) to you. Since most scholarship providers will not consider late applications, being late is not an option!
So what's the best way to ensure that your application is not late? Stay organized! Organize your criminal justice scholarship applications according to their deadline dates, keep your cover letters, and if you're snail mailing the applications, always make photocopies before you mail them (and of course if you're emailing or applying electronically, save the electronic file).
You should also make sure your application was received. The easiest way to do this is by making a phone call to the scholarship provider. In the event that they did not receive the application, you'll thank yourself for making that copy!
A Small Word of Warning
If at any time during your criminal justice scholarship search, you are promised a scholarship by paying some type of fee, steer clear! While some scholarship search engines may charge a fee for their service, they are not promising that you will be awarded a scholarship. No one can guarantee that you'll be awarded any type of scholarship. A legitimate scholarship search service does not provide scholarships. They compile information regarding scholarships and present it to their users.
The Federal Trade Commission warns students about scholarship scams. Additionally, legitimate scholarship search services warn students against scholarship scams. Pay close attention to these warnings so that you can avoid falling prey to these schemes.
Several criminal justice scholarships are available for students to pursue. Finding these scholarships and completing the application doesn't mean that you'll win them. Regardless of the award amount, some financial aid is far better than no financial aid! A criminal justice scholarship is an ideal way to assist your financial needs as you pursue an education in criminal justice.