This article will provide you with some tips on how to win scholarships for College. The following are the tips on how to win scholarships for college:
However, with thousands of applicants applying for each scholarship, how do you increase your chances of winning? T
What is a Scholarship?
This is a set amount of money given for personal, academic, immutable, or athletic reasons. The money awarded is then spent on many expenses in college. Although there are scholarships for specific programs and schools before college, all these financial grants work the same way. Students who need money for college usually apply for scholarships.
Today, these grants’ need is greater than ever as college education continues to become more expensive.
Types of Scholarship
College scholarships are broken down into several categories, each having its target and criteria that an applicant much reach to qualify. If we list all the different types of college financial aids, our list would be extremely long. Nevertheless, the most common types of scholarships you will encounter are as follows:
Academic Scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to deserving students who have worked hard at their academic performance. To get granted, you should have high grades during high school. Since getting very high ratings are unusual, some academic scholarships are also offered to average students.
Personal Scholarships: These scholarships are supported by individuals or organizations and mostly focus on personal goals, achievements, and beliefs. One popular example is community service scholarships. There are also personal scholarships that are amusing and strange and still provide much-needed support for universities and colleges.
Immutable Characteristic Scholarships: These grants are given to people of certain groups. In this scholarship, there are so many niches that fall under this, like women or people of color, or groups based on ethnicity or place of origin.
Activity and Athletic Scholarships. As its name implies, these are scholarships given to athletic achievers. Many popular sports with professional leagues like football and basketball are common, but there are also less popular sports represented in these types of scholarships: swimming, wrestling, and other Olympic sports, to name a few. On the other hand, activity-based scholarships revolve around students in the field of performing arts–from music to drama and even debate activities.
1. Start your search early
Students planning to enroll in college immediately after high school must begin searching for appropriate scholarship competitions early. While you are in your sophomore year of high school, start looking for scholarship programs which meet your anticipated education and career path.
Many scholarships have certain prerequisites that you will need to meet in order to qualify. A scholarship may require that you have taken certain courses while in high school or may require a compulsory level of extracurricular activity and community service in order to be considered eligible.
By beginning your scholarship search early, you give yourself plenty of time to find the right program and to prepare yourself to meet its requirements.
2. Look for less competitive scholarships
Well-known, large-scale scholarships have a tendency to be incredibly competitive, so look for smaller awards and contests that could add up to a lot of college cash. Ask teachers and guidance counselors about subject-specific or interest-specific scholarships.
Talk to church or community leaders about award opportunities. And pay attention as you pass school and library bulletin boards, which may be a source of hidden treasures like essay or art contests for scholarships. Then apply for as many as possible.
The more scholarships you apply for, the more likely you will be awarded at least one or two.
3. Tell an original story
A lot of scholarship applications require an essay. Stand out to scholarship judges by telling an original story about yourself that challenges expectations. Tell of a time when you acted contrary to what people would expect of your type, be it a nerd, jock, trendsetter. Then relate that action to a lesson you learned and why you want to attend a certain school, pursue a certain degree or enter a selected field.
4. Try hard to stand out
When you write your essay or personal statement, make sure to illustrate how your experience interconnects with the organization’s mission or vision. To win college scholarships, you need to market yourself smartly and use the background information of the organization offering the scholarship. Share exactly why you are the best applicant for their scholarship.
5. Follow directions and proofread before submission
There’s nothing that will disqualify you faster than missing pieces from your application or poor spelling and grammar. You’re trying to present your best self through these submissions, so check and double-check your application, essay and supplemental materials. Then ask a teacher, parent, counselor or grammatically gifted older sibling to read over everything for grammar, punctuation, flow, and tone.
6. Be prepared for an interview
Many academic scholarships, mainly those with large financial awards, require a face to face interview with the finalists. The scholarship review board holds these interviews in order to better determine who is the most deserving of the award in question.
If you are successful in the final stages of the scholarship review, and you are lucky enough to be called for an interview, it is crucial that you be prepared. Scholarship interviews have a tendency to make students nervous, and that is understandable.
The review board expects some level of anxiety in their interviewees, and will not mark you off for being nervous. But the lack of preparation is another issue. Before your interview, review your application and essay submission so they will be fresh in your mind.
If you can, have a trusted friend or teacher conduct a mock interview with you, so that you can practice your interpersonal skills.
7. Don’t Ignore Those Small Scholarships
In an attempt to win the maximum amount, most students typically pursue a big scholarship and ignore the smaller rewards. This increases the competition for the larger rewards and decreases the competition for the lower amounts. Instead of the either-or approach, why not apply to both. There are no limits to the number of scholarships you can apply for or earn.
8. Be yourself
As you complete your scholarship application and prepare your essay submission, it is essential that you be yourself. Although it is always tempting to puff yourself up on the scholarship application, it is also easy to get caught when the time comes for the final interview.
The review board will assess your written application first, and the more honest and straightforward you are the easier the interview process will be. Be secure in your potential as a student and your value as a person, and be as honest and open on your application as possible.
The review board wants to get to know you, and vice versa and you may do yourself more harm by trying to be someone else.
9. Don’t miss the deadline
If you want to win scholarship money for college, stick to deadlines. If your application is late, you can be locked out of online systems or tossed in the “no” stack no matter how perfect you are for the award.
10. Find Scholarships Based on your Unique Traits
After you have listed down your traits, it’s time to start searching. There are practically thousands of scholarships available out there, and most of them are relatively easy to find. High-competition scholarships include the Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarship or the Gates Millennium Scholars Programs.
11. Make Your Very Best Scholarship Essay
The dreaded essay! Although not all scholarships will require you to make an essay, many of them still do. Never second-guess the importance of creating a killer essay. This is your very chance to shine. Writing an essay gives the evaluator a deeper look at yourself– things that your GPA and test scores will not provide. There are so many ways you can do to keep your essay inviting, but the highlights include:
Use a calendar or planner to keep track of due dates, set email reminders or cell phone alarms, do whatever it takes to ensure you’ll be on time. Creating a checklist for each scholarship application is also a good idea so you don’t forget to send along supplemental materials.