Apply for Scholarships
The only way to have a shot at winning scholarships is to apply for scholarships. You'll also hear it from us time and time again - apply early, and apply often. If you miss a deadline and send in your application late, your scholarship application will go to the bottom of the pile. If you skip out on an award because you think you don't have a good shot at landing that award, you could be missing out on free financial aid. Browse through our website to find helpful tips and advice on the scholarship application process. The more scholarship information you have, the more prepared you'll be to start the process and land your share of the free college money out there. Better yet, take a few minutes to conduct a free, college scholarship search to find scholarships for which you may be eligible.
The Scholarship Search
You may feel like scholarship awards are too competitive for you to win, but someone has to win, so why shouldn't it be you? There are ways to improve your chances of landing a scholarship, even if it's the most competitive scholarship around. Target academic scholarships if you have a stellar GPA and standardized test scores, but also make a list of what makes you unique and make sure to include those characteristics when you're filling out your Scholarships.com profile.
Once you have a solid list of scholarships for which you are eligible, it is time to go over those results and prioritize the ones with approaching scholarship deadlines and those you feel you have the best shot at winning. If you don't match the criteria of an award, don't apply. There are too many scholarships out there that will fit your unique, personal characteristics for you to waste your time on awards that aren't an accurate match.
Should you wish to reach out to the scholarship provider, be sure you contact them in the manner that they've requested, whether it's via email, fax or a formal letter - it is important that you follow the exact directions of any scholarship application. To maximize your scholarship application output and the scholarships you'll receive, be sure to start as early as possible, usually in October of your senior year of high school or even before your senior year. Also, be sure to keep your Scholarships.com profile up-to-date so you can find out about new opportunities and send them a scholarship application.
The Application Process
When you are ready to start applying, it's important to get organized. One of the most important steps once you find an award that interests you is to read the directions, qualifications, and fine print carefully (beware: scholarships that charge a fee are most often scholarship scams). You may even find some of the work you do can be applied to multiple scholarship applications - such as an essay or writing sample. Be sure you read the directions for those essays carefully. Make sure you're answering the essay question accurately and thoughtfully, as many judges will look to those essays to narrow down a long list of applicants. Start working on those essays early, and ask teachers or your peers for honest feedback.
If it sounds too easy, that's because it is actually easy to apply for scholarships. Some may require that you put in some time, but once you've completed an application or two, you might find it will get easier and take less time with each additional scholarship application. Don't psych yourself out or let yourself get overwhelmed by all you need to do before you graduate high school. Start early and work diligently and it will pay off, literally. And remember: you're not alone. Many students feel unprepared when they're starting the process, but with a little research, preparation and help from Scholarships.com, you could be on your way to an impressive financial aid package.