How to Win a Scholarship
College Scholarships are great because it provides free money for college that doesn’t have to be paid back.
The students that win the most scholarships may not have more positive qualities than you, but they use the following strategy to get noticed by the scholarship committees:
Start ASAP and Apply Early – Many scholarships have early application deadlines, so don’t miss out on these opportunities.
Read the Requirements – Make sure you are eligible right from the start, so you’re not wasting your time. Also, never pay to apply for a scholarship, these are usually scams.
Follow Instructions Carefully – Any errors right off the bat can get your scholarship application easily denied. Proofread it. Have someone else proofread it. As important as being prepared and organized, it is equally important that you have an essay that gets you noticed. Even if you feel you master the English language, your essay should be critique by someone who has experience in essay writing. Ask an english professor to review your essay.
Neatly Presentable, Neatly Packaged – Send the Scholarship Application via Certified mail or better yet, FedEx, making your application look professional and stand out from others.
Communicate – Make sure the application is right. If you are not sure about something in the scholarship application, don’t hesitate to ask.
Check School Specific Scholarships – Check with the college you would like to attend. Usually there are many school-specific scholarships available. This alone may be able to help you in your school decision making.
Visit a financial counselor at your School – A financial counselor may be able to lead you to scholarships you don’t know about, or that aren’t listed on the web. Find Scholarships that aren’t very competitive by applying for ones that are not heavily advertised.
Be Active, Stay Active – Being in a sports team, club or some type of community service will always better your chances at receiving a college scholarship.
Maintain your Score – Keep your grades up. A higher Score will make you eligible for more scholarships, on top of increasing your chances of receiving funds.
Get letters of recommendation from teachers, guidance counselors or leaders in your community. Choose these wisely (make copies).
Get a copy of your high school or college transcript (make copies).
Get involved in your community or in school activities. If your time is limited due to personal circumstances, working to help with family expenses is also an advantage.
Start writing an essay about your goals and what you have done to date to achieve them. Think about what makes you unique. Why do you deserve this scholarship more than anyone else?
Buy some clear plastic binders.
The goal here is to have numerous packages made up ahead of time, ready to submit to the various scholarship committees. The package will include:
a clear plastic binder and within the package the scholarship application ( you will have to insert this later when you have received each individual application)
followed by an essay that gets you noticed
followed by your transcript (some scholarships do not require this, but if it’s impressive, send it)
followed by letters of recommendation and then place your picture in the front inside cover(on top of the application) in the lower left hand corner (this is not a requirement, but it helps to put a face to the person, for the scholarship committee deciding who receives the awards)
Get Prepared, Get Organized, Get Noticed, Be Persistent and Don’t Give Up!
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☆ Good Luck! 🙂