One of the best things about scholarships is that for the most part, they reward the applicants who put forth the most effort. Like teachers who can instantly spot a sloppy homework assignment, scholarship judges can identify poorly composed applications without lifting a finger. Depending upon the award and how many students participate, the process of eliminating underqualified students can be competitive at best...and downright ruthless at worst. You may already be thinking "They won’t pick me, so why waste my time?" Not true: The financial assistance obtainable through scholarships is worth it, even if you don’t receive an award from each and every scholarship that you apply to.
Most of the students who succeeded in earning scholarships did so for two reasons:
There is no magic recipe that will help you win a scholarship. What there is, however, is a time-tested strategy that many students find incredibly helpful in organizing their scholarship search. The students who apply these techniques usually come out ahead in the end.
Gather the information for all of the scholarship offers that you are qualified to apply for. The latter part of this suggestion is essential — do not spend valuable time applying for scholarships for which your GPA, major, community involvement requirement or any other criteria does not meet the standard. There are likely hundreds of awards for which you specifically qualify, so focus your attention on those. Read through your list and eliminate all awards that you are not qualified for.
This will take time but your investment will pay off. After narrowing down your list so that it only includes the scholarships that are most relevant, consider the following categories:
Now that you have determined the value of the scholarships that you have selected based on when the deadline is, preparation required, and the amount of the award, create a rating system. A simple way to do this is to rate each scholarship with a ( + ) or ( – ) sign next to the award. For example, an award with three plus signs is a scholarship for which you must apply. The deadline is far off, average preparation is required and the reward is $2,000. On the other hand, a scholarship with two minus signs might cause you to reconsider before taking the time to apply. It could be that amount of preparation required simply exceeds the amount of effort you are willing to exert because the scholarship award in only $100.
Alright, you’ve determined what scholarships you are actually interested in applying for. Chances are your list is a good bit shorter now and much more feasible. Begin submitting to the scholarships that you have ranked highest in priority. Good luck!
Latest College & Financial Aid News
May 21, 2018
by Susan Dutca
Summer break is here for most students and so are these sizzling summer scholarships for those who want to take advantage of their spare time this summer and earn money for college. Since you don't have to deal with homework and tests for the next couple of months, we strongly encourage you to apply for scholarships and kick-start your financial aid for next semester. See how much money you can save and student loan debt you can skirt by applying for and winning college scholarships this summer 2018. Begin your search with the summer scholarships listed below or get a personalized list of scholarship matches here. [...]
May 15, 2018
by Susan DutcaPhoto credit: Jeffrey Vinocur
A Cornell University senior presented a trial run of her senior thesis wearing nothing but her bra and panties in protest of her professor's comments about the length of the shorts she was wearing. Offended and taken aback by the comments, she further invited others to support her on the day of the presentation by stripping down to their undergarments with her during her 15-minute address. [...]
May 8, 2018
by Susan DutcaPhoto credit: Miami Herald
The University of Florida is issuing apologies for the way some black students were handled during a recent commencement ceremony. While doing some short dances or jumps on stage upon receiving their diplomas, some say that a white usher was "inappropriately aggressive" when rushing the graduates across the stage, suggesting that he was "motivated by race because the students were black." [...]