How to Win Scholarships

Finding and applying for scholarships is easy when you begin by conducting a free scholarship search at Scholarships.com. It only takes a few minutes to get matched to dozens of college scholarships for which you qualify, and the personalized scholarship search enables you to apply for scholarships that will be the best, most productive use of your time.

Once you have been matched to your customized list of scholarships, you may be wondering where or how to begin applying for and, most importantly, winning scholarships. Believe it or not, there is a science to winning scholarships, and (unsurprisingly) Scholarships.com has the best strategy for winning scholarships. Follow the below tips that will help you win scholarships for college:

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Conduct a Free Scholarship Search

This quick and easy step will save you hours in manually searching for scholarships across the Internet. All you have to do is accurately and thoroughly complete a free Scholarships.com profile, answering key questions about your personal background and interests in order to get accurately matched to dozens of scholarships for which you qualify. Scholarships.com does the heavy lifting for you here by analyzing the information you provide and curating a customized list of scholarship matches for you.

Organize Your Scholarship Matches in a Spreadsheet

Use Scholarships.com's Scholarship Application Worksheet or a spreadsheet software of your choice to list and organize all of your scholarship matches. Copy and paste all of the scholarships and their information, placing key details into columns such as application deadlines, aware amount, winner announcement dates, and miscellaneous information. Add columns that indicate whether you have applied, plan to apply, or do not plan to apply for the scholarship.

Establish a Scholarship Application Game Plan

Now that you have all of your scholarships listed, to which will you apply first? The method and order in which you apply for scholarships are completely up to you, but we suggest first applying for scholarships with the largest dollar amount or scholarships with soonest upcoming deadlines.

When applying for scholarships, also consider your odds of winning. Scholarships that have minimal eligibility requirements will appeal to a larger pool of applicants, reducing your chances of winning scholarships. Easy scholarships also tend to offer less scholarship money. Conversely, scholarships that require more work and are more selective - such as large dollar scholarships and essay scholarships - draw in fewer applicants but offer more scholarship money. When applying for scholarships, always be conscious of your timeline to make sure you have sufficient time to apply before the scholarship deadline passes.

After applying for scholarships based on the deadline and large dollar scholarships, decide which scholarships appeal to you. For example, you may enjoy a scholarship project requirement that would complement a particular skill set you possess and set you aside from the rest of the scholarship applicant pool.

Gather Your Scholarship Application Materials

Ensure that you have all the required supplemental scholarship application materials as requested by the scholarship provider, or you may risk having your scholarship application denied. This may include test scores, personal statements, resumes, recommendation letters, or a scholarship essay. Read the scholarship application requirements section carefully when applying. Use Scholarships.com's Scholarship Application Checklist to help keep you organized when collecting all of your scholarship application materials and paperwork.

Apply for Scholarships Early & Often

You can't win scholarships if you don't apply or apply late. The majority of scholarship providers will reject scholarship applications that are submitted after the scholarship deadline, so don't let scholarship deadlines pass on scholarships for which you'd like to apply.

Applying for scholarships is also not a one-and-done deal. You may have to apply for dozens of scholarships before you end up winning one, and you always have a greater likelihood of earning more money for college with every new application you send in. You may also find that you need to continue searching and applying for scholarships throughout your undergraduate and graduate study in order to continue to pay for your higher education.

Luckily, Scholarships.com offers college scholarships for students of varying ages, year in school, and walks of life. As you progress throughout your education, be sure to routinely login and update your profile with the most current information to ensure you receive the most accurate scholarship matches.

Additional Guidelines on How to Win Scholarships:

Write a Scholarship-Worthy Essay

The Scholarship Letter of Recommendation

Winning Scholarships: Paying Attention to Detail

Scholarship Application Strategies 101

The Importance of Scholarship Application Deadlines

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Last Reviewed: January 2021