Home > Financial Aid > College Scholarships > Scholarship Information > Scholarship Winners' Secrets to Success

Scholarship Winners' Secrets to Success

It may be difficult to convince yourself to write a scholarship essay. All of that work, and you’re not even guaranteed to win? I mean, for all you know, there are hundreds of people competing against you, and they’re all overachievers. Yes, yes, you know that it’s silly to work for months for this money and not give a scholarship opportunity a few hours. Still, it’s just that there are no guarantees. If only you knew what the winners were doing, things would be different. Well, we’re here to help with that one. We have gone through winners’ testimonials to find out the secrets of their success. Here is what we found.

Be Persistent

Most of the winners who have contacted us have received numerous scholarships. Coincidence? Probably not. To win numerous scholarships, you have to apply regularly. Stephanie Sylvester, a college student who has received several scholarships is a great example. "Just because I’m a sophomore in college doesn’t mean I’ve quit the scholarship search here at Scholarships.com," she said. "I’m still searching and don’t count me out." Stephanie began her search as a junior in high school and is still going strong. You don’t need to throw your hands up if you haven’t received a scholarship by the end of your senior year. Systematically apply, and you will see results.

Apply Early

The same hints that apply to college applications apply to scholarship ones. Applying early may significantly increase your chances of winning. Once deadlines draw near, applications may be skimmed through by overworked readers. You have a greater chance at having your essay thoroughly reviewed if you get a head start. Let your seriousness and responsibility shine through by getting things done early. Readers are likely to take notice.

Carefully Read Required Qualifications

This is crucial. Your time is precious and so is that of the judges who will be reading your submission. Your ability and willingness to follow simple instructions is often one of the first things scholarship providers will look for. Using your profile, Scholarships.com will help you find scholarships that apply to you. To maximize the amount of scholarships you qualify for, make your profile as detailed as possible. Nikki from Chicago had this to say on the topic, "Scholarships.com was incredibly helpful in my search for scholarships that fit my criteria. When I knew that I wanted to study abroad, I went to Scholarships.com and found so many scholarship programs for students like me." We can help you too. If you give us the details, we’ll show you the scholarships.

Stay Positive

Many scholarships are open to all prospective college students, regardless of GPA. Just because you are an average student doesn’t mean that you cannot write an excellent essay. That is what numerous scholarship reviewers are looking for. When you are asked to write an essay on a given topic, do your best to give solid support for your thesis. Do some research and include personal thoughts as well as applicable facts. Scholarship readers aren’t looking for the perfect person, but they are looking for someone who has put obvious effort into their essay. You may feel average, but your attitude doesn’t have to be.

There are plenty of scholarships out there, for all students. By taking the advice of those who have been awarded scholarships, you may save yourself the trouble of learning what works and what doesn’t first hand. You can get a lot more than a penny for your thoughts, but you have to share them first.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Harvard Supporters Back University in Admissions Trial

October 16, 2018

by Susan Dutca

Harvard students and alumni will testify in support of Harvard during the admissions trial this week, defending its "race-conscious admissions policy" against claims that it discriminates against Asian-American applicants. The trial is the latest chapter in a lawsuit filed in 2014 by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA).

Harvard University has been accused of "balancing its undergraduate classes to ensure that it had admitted its desired share of students of each race and ethnicity" and also for penalizing Asian-American applicants by "systematically giving them lower scores on a metric admissions officers use to measure personality." Adam Mortara, a lawyer representing SFFA, stated that the university scores applicants in four categories: academic achievement, athletic ability, extracurriculars, and personality. While referencing admissions data, he concluded that, despite their higher academic performance, Asian-Americans are admitted at lower rates. [...]

Professor Sent Abroad After Posting Hateful Tweets

October 9, 2018

by Susan Dutca

An associate professor in security studies at Georgetown University who, last week, wished "death and castration" to GOP senators supporting confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is no longer teaching but will be "traveling internationally for university research." [...]

File FAFSA Immediately for Best Chance at Getting Money for College

October 2, 2018

by Susan Dutca

The official 2019-2020 college financial aid season began yesterday, October 1st, so it is critical that you file your Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) ASAP! Whether you are headed to college for the first time next fall, or you plan on attending college next year, you will want to complete your FAFSA as soon as possible, as many states and colleges award financial aid on a first come, first served basis. [...]