How To Get College Scholarships In High School

How To Get College Scholarships In High School

Navigating the financial landscape of higher education can be daunting, especially for high school students aspiring to pursue a college degree. Scholarships, a form of financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid, can alleviate the burden of college costs and open doors to academic opportunities. This article aims to guide high school students through the process of identifying and securing scholarships, empowering them to achieve their academic goals.

How To Get College Scholarships In High School

1. Start searching early

As early as ninth grade, begin your scholarship search to stand out and maximize your chances of receiving funding. Although you don’t have to apply for them right away, it will benefit you in the long run to become familiar with the requirements that scholarships have.

In the ninth grade, looking for scholarships can also introduce you to activities that you may want to pursue throughout your time in high school. Given that many people don’t even know during their first few years of high school whether they want to attend college, this could be a downfall for some.

2. Earn a high GPA

Develop your GPA if you are one of the students who decided early on that college is your next step. Fortunately, your first year of high school is when classes are usually the easiest, so that’s when your GPA matters the most.

The reason why your first year is so crucial is because it establishes your GPA. A high GPA at first provides you with more wiggle room when things get tough in the classroom. If your GPA is higher when you first enter high school, it might also be simpler to maintain than to try to raise it over time. GPA is essential for scholarships because nearly all of them will ask for your GPA on the application.

Additionally, your chances of receiving a scholarship increase with your GPA. It’s acceptable if your GPA isn’t exactly where you would like it to be and you’re already in your junior or senior year of high school! Scholarships for students with lower GPAs are widely available. Recall that you are not defined by your grades.

3. Join School Clubs

Participating in school clubs and organizations is essential for obtaining scholarships, just like academics. As soon as possible, begin to participate in school organizations such as the yearbook, student government, Beta, National Honor Society, etc. Make an effort to get involved in as many clubs as you can and join them all.

You’ll discover throughout your high school career which clubs best suit you; you should stick with those and work to advance to leadership positions. Joining a club is good, but becoming a leader in one is even better! It’s okay if you’re an athlete and don’t have time to participate in other clubs; sports are also regarded as clubs. If you’re a team captain or a starter for your team, for example, that would count as a leadership position.

4. Don’t Neglect External Organizations

Try to get involved in organizations outside of your school as well, if you can. Students with strong work ethics and high levels of involvement are frequently given scholarships by these organizations. Obtaining community service experience is beneficial even in cases where the organization does not offer scholarships.

Take it easy on this one. Include on your resume your involvement in your church, if you have any. Include employment at the Boys & Girls Club after school on your resume. These activities add up altogether!

5. Create a Standout CV

Scholarship programs can easily learn more about you as a student, your interests, and your accomplishments through your resume. Furthermore, many scholarship programs require you to upload or attach your resume with your application.

Seek assistance from a teacher if you need it; resumes can be difficult to begin. You can also ask a family member who already has a resume to help you out or search for templates online. Include everything on your resume, including being named student of the month, being on the principal’s list, having perfect attendance, leading your team as captain, serving as yearbook club president, and mentoring other students.

Never hesitate to ask for assistance. You can learn how to write about your roles in a clear, professional manner from teachers and mentors.

6. Seek Assistance from Others

Not only can they be excellent sources for recommendation letters, but your high school guidance counselor and teachers can also assist you with writing a resume and searching for scholarships.

The majority of scholarship applications call for one to three letters of recommendation, so it’s ideal if you can establish trusting relationships with some administrators or staff members at your place of employment, school, or church. Don’t wait until it’s too late to submit your scholarship application, either! If you put off writing the recommendation letter for too long, the person writing it might feel pressured to finish it quickly because of your tardiness.

7. Know Where to Look for Scholarships

Look locally first. Scholarships may be available from banks, churches, auto dealerships, and even the jobs of your parents. Applying for local scholarships will improve your chances of winning money for college because they typically don’t receive many applications.

Visit the websites of the colleges you’ve decided to apply to and look for institutional scholarships if you know which ones. These scholarships are exclusive to that particular university. A simple web search may also be useful. Scholarships for purposes other than academics are abundant. For example, there are scholarships available for students of color, for particular majors, and even for left-handed individuals! Just keep in mind that applying for a scholarship should never cost you money.

In addition to the tips above, you can also:

  • Network with people in your field of interest. This can help you learn about scholarship opportunities that you may not have found on your own.
  • Attend college fairs. College fairs are a great way to learn about different colleges and scholarships.
  • Talk to your parents or guardians. They may be able to help you find scholarships or provide you with financial assistance.

Resources that can help you find scholarships

Here are some resources that can help you find scholarships:

  • Fastweb
  • CollegeBoard
  • Chegg
  • Cappex


Securing scholarships in high school requires dedication, perseverance, and a strategic approach. By starting early, researching diligently, and crafting compelling applications, students can increase their chances of receiving financial support that will pave the way for their college aspirations. Remember, scholarships are not just about academic excellence; they also recognize community involvement, leadership potential, and unique talents. Embrace your strengths, explore diverse scholarship opportunities, and let your passion shine through your applications. You can unlock the doors to a rewarding college experience with determination and effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you expect when applying for scholarships as a high school student?

Scholarship applications require time and work. Even for awards with few applications, you have to look for them, determine whether you qualify, complete the application, and send it in.

You should budget some time to investigate scholarship opportunities and complete applications. Proof of your grades, extracurricular activities, community service, and hobbies must be readily available. You may be required to submit an essay or personal statement with certain applications so that the scholarship providers can evaluate your eligibility.

How much time during high school should you spend applying for college scholarships?

Scholarships abound for juniors and seniors in high school. Your odds of winning free college funding are better the more applications you submit. Fall deadlines for most awards are in August through November, and spring deadlines are in January through May.

It’s a good idea for high school students to set aside an hour a week to search for and apply for scholarships. Keep in mind that the duration of each application will differ. A smaller award worth a few hundred dollars may only require a few minutes of application time. Applying for a full-ride scholarship may require many hours of work.

How do I get a US high school student visa?

The school authorized by SEVP will provide you with a Form I-20. You can apply for a student (F or M) visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate after receiving the Form I-20 and registering in SEVIS. When you go for your visa interview, you have to show the consular officer the Form I-20.

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