How To Get A Scholarship
Apply for Scholarships
The key to winning scholarships is simple: apply for potential scholarships. At Scholarships.com, we cannot stress this enough - apply early and apply to plenty of scholarships often. Missing a scholarship deadline and submitting your application form late will place your scholarship application at the bottom of the pile. You could be missing out on valuable student financial aid options towards your college education. Browse through our website for helpful tips and advice on the scholarship application process. The more scholarship information you have, the better prepared you'll be to start the process and secure your share of the free money for college costs available. Better yet, take a few minutes to conduct a free college scholarship search to find various types of scholarships for which fit your eligibility criteria.
The Scholarship Search
You may feel that scholarship awards are highly competitive and unattainable, but remember, someone has to win these types of awards. While academic scholarships favor students with exceptional GPAs and standardized test scores, it's equally important to highlight what makes you unique. When filling out your Scholarships.com profile, make sure to include those distinctive characteristics that set you apart.
Once you have a solid list of scholarships for which you qualify, it's time to review those results and prioritize the ones with approaching deadlines and those where you feel you have the best shot at winning. There are countless scholarships out there that align with your unique personal background. Focus your efforts on those that truly match your profile.
Make sure to keep your Scholarships.com profile up to date so you can stay informed about new opportunities and submit scholarship applications promptly. Most scholarships will have strict deadlines and wil not consider your application if it is submitted after the deadline.
The Application Process
When you're ready to start applying, organization is key. Once you find a scholarship that interests you, take the time to read the directions, qualifications, and fine print carefully. Beware of scholarship scams that charge fees. When you use Scholarships.com, you can rest assured that all of the scholarships you get matched to are legitimate and have been vetted by our staff. We don't list scholarships that charge an application fee. Some of the work you do for one scholarship application may be applicable to multiple scholarships, such as an essay or writing sample. Pay close attention to the application essay prompts and ensure your responses accurately and thoughtfully address the question. Essays often play a significant role in the selection process of incoming students, helping judges narrow down the pool of applicants. Start working on your essays early and seek feedback from teachers, relatives or peers. Ideally, find someone you know to be an avid reader and excellent writer, as they will be the most help in this process.
While some scholarships may require time and effort, completing an application or two will make the process easier and more efficient. Don't let the magnitude of tasks overwhelm you as you approach high school graduation. Remember, you're not alone. Many students feel unprepared when they embark on the scholarship application process, but with some research, preparation, and assistance from Scholarships.com, you can secure an impressive financial aid package. Just take it one step at a time - nobody eats a 12 ounce steak in a single bite!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are letters of recommendation, and why are they important for scholarships?
Letters of recommendation are written endorsements from teachers, college counselors, or professionals who can vouch for your abilities and character. They provide valuable insights into your academic achievements, personal qualities, and potential. Many scholarships require letters of recommendation as they help scholarship providers gauge your suitability for the award.
2. How can I secure strong letters of recommendation for my scholarship applications?
To secure strong letters of recommendation, consider the following tips:
- Choose recommenders who know you well and can speak positively about your abilities.
- Provide recommenders with relevant information, such as your academic achievements, extracurricular involvements, and career aspirations.
- Request recommendations well in advance of application deadlines to allow recommenders ample time to write thoughtful letters.
Eligibility requirements vary depending on the scholarship program, but common criteria may include:
- Academic performance: Some scholarships have minimum GPA requirements or specific academic achievements.
- Financial need: Certain scholarships prioritize applicants with demonstrated financial need for college expenses.
- Extracurricular involvement: Scholarships may consider your involvement in clubs, organizations, community service projects, or leadership roles.
- Demographic factors: Certain scholarships target specific groups. Scholarships for minorities, first-generation college students or LGBTQIA+.
4. How important are scholarship application deadlines?
Scholarship application deadlines are as crucial as submitting your scholarship essay on time. Missing a deadline can disqualify your application from consideration, regardless of its quality. It is essential to stay organized and keep track of application deadlines to ensure you submit your materials on time. Set reminders, create a schedule, and start the application process well in advance to avoid any last-minute rush.
5. How can the financial aid office help with scholarships?
The financial aid office at your school can be an invaluable resource for scholarship information. They can assist you in the following ways:
- Provide guidance on available scholarships and eligibility requirements.
- Offer assistance in completing scholarship applications and submitting required documents.
- Offer advice on maximizing your financial aid package by combining scholarships with other forms of aid.