With so many students applying for the same scholarships, competition is tough. But this shouldn’t scare you away from the scholarship process. Here are a few tips to give you an edge.
Photo by B3OK.
- Apply to as many scholarships as you can. You have a higher chance of getting some money for college if you apply to ten, rather than two.
- With that being said, make sure to organize your scholarship stuff carefully. You don’t want to send the wrong essay to the wrong address. For each scholarship you’re applying for, keep names, addresses and what they require in a separate folder from the rest.
- Don’t rule out scholarships you don’t think you have a shot at getting- you never know!
- Check with a parents’ business or your work place. A lot of businesses offer scholarships and like to give them to employees or children of employees.
- Check with your college/university’s financial aid office. There are usually several scholarships available for students starting at the school.
- Don’t let an essay scare you off. Most scholarships require the applicant to write an essay on a specific topic. Yes, this will take up some of your time. But you should still do it. Writing a well-thought out essay shows that you care. It also shows what kind of student you’re likely to be in college. They want to make sure the scholarship money is going to a good use.
- Type your applications and essays, if at all possible. If not, print very neatly.
- Proofread your application and essay. Get a friend to check it over for typos and grammatical mistakes. Then have a relative check it. And, if possible, a friendly and willing English teacher.
- Make sure to get that application/essay in by the due date. Your application will probably be disqualified completely if they don’t get it in time. If possible, make sure they get it way before the due date- it reflects better on you in the long run.
- Ask teachers for letters of recommendation way ahead of time. It’s likely nearing the end of the semester so teachers will be busier than usual. Don’t ask them, “Can you have that to me in, say, 24 hours?” It’s not going to happen.
- Speaking of teachers, don’t ask for recommendation letters from teachers who weren’t really fond of you. (We all have them.) And don’t just ask teachers from classes you got a good grade in. Ask teachers who know you personally and who you got along with. If you took part in an extra curricular activity, ask one of the teachers involved to help you out.
- Avoid scholarship scams. Click here to learn more.
If you need more information, check out these scholarship tips. And don’t forget – you may not even need a scholarship if you choose a college with lower tuition. Check out the myUsearch college matchmaker to find an affordable college that still offers a great education.
Jillianne Hamilton is a writer, blogger and Journalism student in Charlottetown, PEI. Find out more at her website.