Scholarships are one of the best ways to help fund your college education. But unlike financial aid or grants, which award funding based on financial need, scholarships require a bit more work than just filling out a FAFSA.
Most awards are merit-based, so even if you meet the eligibility requirements, you’ll still have to put in a bit of elbow grease to win over the selection committee. Fortunately, there are many ways to demonstrate merit — and plenty of opportunities to do so.
How To Win Scholarships For College
All you need is to think strategically, work hard, and be persistent. To help you do just that, we compiled this list of “How To Win Scholarships For College.” Let’s begin:
1. Start the process as early as possible
Giving yourself plenty of time to prepare and refine your applications is crucial if you want to increase your chances of getting a scholarship. It’s never too early to start looking for scholarships, just like it’s never too early to start studying for the SATs.
While many scholarship competitions are aimed at high school juniors, seniors, and current college students, several programmes accept applications of all ages. Even if you aren’t ready to start college anytime soon, you can start researching and organising now.
2. Sign up for Going Merry
One of the most time-consuming parts of the scholarship application process is the search. With more than a million different awards out there, it can feel daunting to try and find the ones you’re eligible for. But when you sign up for Going Merry, you’ll get high-quality awards that fit your eligibility profile — all delivered directly to your inbox.
Once your profile is complete, a robust scholarship-matching software will connect you to a list of scholarships that are perfect for you.
3. Make a list of college scholarships
Keep a running list of scholarship options that you are eligible for to streamline your application process and prevent wasting time. (The eligibility requirements are stated beneath most scholarships. On Going Merry, you may also search for scholarships based on your specific preferences (gender, race, state of residence, or GPA).
Include a wide range of scholarship kinds, such as national scholarships, merit scholarships, and local rewards. It’s ideal if your list is lengthy at this point.
4. Search for awards specific to you
You’ll probably start by adding a lot of general scholarship opportunities to your list. However, it is also critical to search out awards where you may have an advantage. Scholarships come in numerous forms, including programmes for artistic students, student-athlete scholarships, rewards for certain degrees, and even some super-niche scholarships. Consider your hobbies, then look for rewards that match.
5. Research local organizations
As you continue to compile your list, check into local organisations that may give one-of-a-kind, area-specific scholarships. Going Merry compiles a wide range of honours, including national, local, and state-specific honours. However, many small businesses and NGOs continue to grant under-the-radar local scholarships. The nice thing about these local opportunities is that they typically have smaller application pools, which may increase your chances of winning.
6. Reach out to your chosen colleges
If you are a senior in high school and already know which university you want to attend, contact the college financial aid office. Most colleges have their scholarships, which you can add to your list as well. Contact your high school guidance counsellor if you are still working on your college applications and/or do not have a specific school in mind. They might be aware of some fantastic scholarship opportunities that you haven’t considered.
7. Prioritize your scholarship list
To begin, divide your list into categories. It may make sense to categorise them depending on the monetary amount, your likelihood of winning, or the length of time it will take you to complete the application. Many huge national scholarships have large awards, but hundreds of applications are received, making them more competitive. While local scholarships aren’t always as lucrative, you may have a better chance of winning.
8. Create a deadline calendar
Missing a deadline is the simplest way to eliminate yourself from consideration for a scholarship. Make a calendar, either on paper or on your computer. Then, make a note of the deadlines for each award on your top-ten list. Put your calendar on your bulletin board or your desktop – anywhere you’ll see it frequently. Include some self-imposed deadlines as well.
9. Apply to easy scholarships first
If none of your deadlines are pressing, the first awards on your list should be the easiest. These are the scholarship programmes that do not necessitate the submission of several documents, essays, or letters of recommendation. (There are even a few free scholarships that are sweepstakes-style, meaning you only need to sign up to apply.)
10. Apply to awards in bulk
The more awards you apply for, the more likely you are to win. And applying in bulk is one of the finest strategies to maximise your application production. With a simple click on Going Merry, you may apply to a variety of scholarships. Simply search the platform’s primary search page for scholarship “bundles,” which are identical rewards with similar prerequisites.
11. Research the scholarship providers
An easy way to make your application stand out is to speak directly to an organization’s mission. As you get ready to write your essays, take the time to read up on the scholarship provider. If the award is sponsored by a climate-focused organization, be sure to write about that beach clean-up you attended or highlight the volunteer activities on your resume. Personalizing your essays will only take a few extra minutes and could make a huge difference in your chances of winning.
12. Write a resume
Before you begin the scholarship application process, create or update your resume. Many apps demand it, but that’s not the only reason it’s important. A detailed resume can assist your professors and mentors in writing their letters of recommendation, allowing you to receive such letters more quickly.
You can choose a selection of resume templates. Include your extracurricular activities, such as sports, hobbies, and artistic endeavours, as well as your employment history and community service work.
13. Get amazing letters of recommendation
Letters of recommendation provide an opportunity to highlight your candidature. Consider who you ask to write on your behalf. People like your guidance counsellor, homeroom teacher, or a trusted coach or mentor are excellent possibilities. Ideally, the person writing your recommendations should be able to speak to your character as well as your academic competence.
Obtaining college scholarships necessitates a proactive attitude, perseverance, and strategic planning. It is critical to conduct extensive research, adapt applications, highlight unique assets, and meet deadlines.
Students boost their chances of getting scholarships by emphasising their particular accomplishments, community involvement, and passion.
This reduces the financial load of higher education. The path to supporting college goals becomes more accessible for eager learners with perseverance and a well-crafted approach.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best part about applying for scholarships?
Winning a scholarship can help lower your out-of-pocket tuition expenses. Some scholarships pay for your college tuition in its entirety, while others cover a specific portion of college expenses. The amount you receive can help you avoid taking out a student loan, so you can graduate with less debt.
2. What grades do you need to get a scholarship UK?
Academic excellence scholarships: many universities offer scholarships to students who achieve specified grades in their A Levels to encourage the higher achieving students to choose their university. They are not all asking for A*AA, some are offering money for ABB or less.
3. What is the hardest part of applying for scholarships?
Getting a scholarship can be difficult for many reasons, but a common one amongst applicants is related to issues with their application due to the lack of information provided on the scholarship form.