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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

Begin Searching for Scholarships Now!

Read what one of our Virtual Interns, Jessica Seals, has to say about pursuing and applying for scholarships.

ADVERTISEMENT

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Book Shines Light on Navigating College Costs

March 4, 2021

by Izzy Hall

March is the first month students may hear back from colleges they applied to during regular admission. Whether an acceptance letter comes in the mail or through an online portal, the excitement of being accepted into college is tangible. What may be less tangible is understanding how you and your family will pay for college. A new best-selling book aims to help untangle the process. [...]

More Schools Adopting Test-Optional Merit Aid

March 2, 2021

by Izzy Hall

Back in September, a few colleges who had already adopted a test-optional policy for the current admissions cycle announced that they would be awarding merit scholarships without the need for applicants to submit test scores. Since then, more and more colleges and universities have quietly adopted test-optional merit aid policies to complement their currently test-optional admissions. [...]

Avoid Student Debt at Colleges with No Student Loans

February 25, 2021

by Izzy Hall

Here at Scholarships.com, we connect students with scholarships that can help alleviate the amount of student loans they need to take out to pay for college. But there are colleges out there that offer students such generous financial aid packages that they need to take out very little in loans if at all. These “no student loans” colleges replace student loans in financial aid packages with additional scholarships and grants to help fund a student’s tuition. Students accepted into these schools will pay much less than the cost of tuition and thus will not be as burdened with student debt. [...]

Last Reviewed: March 2021