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Company scholarships are big business in the United States today because they represent the competition between the companies in the race to sign the most promising students up. In business and law especially, the competition is fierce and not between the students. The trick that most companies play is to offer the brightest and most talented individuals scholarships and bind them to the company so that they are guaranteed their services after graduation. Although this may sound like a dream come true to the majority of students, it is usually only masters and PhD students that receive such honours. It is very rare that bachelor degree students are offered them, and then it is only if he or she has worked for the company or shows extraordinary potential at a young age.
There are three ways to earn yourself a company scholarship. The first is completely out of your hands. Some companies headhunt for promising students as they would if they wanted a particular member of a competitor's workforce. They may lure you with a comprehensive package that would fund your education from start to finish, with the provision that, if you accept, you will be obliged to work for them for so many years. Very few of these scholarships have a get out clause in them and they usually stipulate five to ten years because of the nature f the scholarship package. It usually covers tuition, housing, course material, living expenses and what is tantamount to a small wage. It is important though, before you sign this type of agreement that you are OK to sign your life away. It is a fantastic opportunity, but is it what you want?
The second way to get a company scholarship under your belt is to apply for it yourself. There are many advertised every academic year that anybody can apply for. Depending on the nature of the company, there may well be minimum requirements, such as the subject of the degree or a minimum GPA, or both1 You would have to have passed these before your application will see the light of day, and even then it is often impossible to make yourself noticed amongst the thousand of other applicants. You do have to really shine to be chosen for this type of scholarship.
If you are an older student with a bachelor degree under your belt then it is possible to attract the attention of the larger companies and bring about your own scholarship. This is the third and final type of scholarship. You literally petition a company and ask them for a hand with your degree tuition. You highlight your skills and portray yourself in a shining light so that they will sit up and take note. Not many people actually do this in comparison to the last and some companies not offering scholarships have even created them for promising individuals who have had the audacity to petition them. Do not get your hopes up though because this is extremely rare. The example is just meant to highlight the fact that it can be done if you're determined enough and you seem to have a gift that they can use.
As with the first example, the latter two do usually have some sort of contracted time tied to them. You may, for example, have to work for a company for several years to pay back the debt, as such. You will almost certainly have some sort of GPA requirement attached as well so do not do the final option unless you are absolutely 100% positive that you can meet them. If you cannot then you will have made a fool of yourself. That may not be your fault but it will feel that way nevertheless!
It is worth remembering that nothing ventured is nothing gained and you should sit about and wait for something to come to you. If it does then all the better, but if it does not, it is better to have plans rather than feel bitterly disappointed!
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