10 Tips for Gaining Scholarships

10 Tips for Gaining Scholarships

10 Tips for Gaining Scholarships
10 Tips for Gaining Scholarships

10 Tips for Gaining Scholarships


Getting a scholarship is one of the best ways to pay for college, as it’s money that you don’t have to pay back and, in most cases, can be used toward tuition and books. Scholarships aren’t just handed out to anyone, though, so if you really want one, make sure to follow these 10 tips on how to get scholarships.


1) Go Above and Beyond

High school students who are seeking scholarships should really try to think outside of their comfort zone. If you play football, don’t just focus on scholarship opportunities related to football; reach out to programs that may be able to help with tuition. Do you want to go into advertising? Be sure to connect with local media outlets and contact them about how they award scholarships each year. The more different options you explore, the better your chances are of gaining a prestigious award, even if it’s in an area unrelated to your future career.


2) Be Personal

It’s important to differentiate yourself from other applicants—and nothing sets you apart better than telling a story. Even if it’s not strictly required, writing a personal statement is often one of your best opportunities to put your personality into words and show off your sense of humor. Think about things that make you unique and special (even if they aren’t related to academics) and try to incorporate those things into your essay. Think Why I’d be perfect for ______ College vs. My academic achievements.


3) Build Relationships

As a high school student or even as an undergraduate, you’re never too young to start building your network. You can start by making friends with peers and their families who are in grad school or have already graduated. And don’t be afraid to ask them about how they got started with their degrees, how long it took them, what kinds of classes they had to take (and which ones were most helpful), and where they went after graduation. If you aren’t too shy about asking questions, you can learn a lot about what’s ahead for you and get great tips on how to be a successful scholar.


4) Get Real

Most students think of scholarships as something that high school seniors are awarded when they fill out applications and write essays—for many, it’s old news by that point. But what if you started searching for them in middle school? In some communities, middle schoolers can get state-level scholarships based on their grades or their community service activities. Just because you’re younger doesn’t mean you can’t apply to scholarship programs that are intended for college students; if anything, your approach may require a little more creativity. It also means you could have time to apply to a few different awards each year!


5) Never Stop

It might be tempting to stop working hard at school as soon as you’ve been awarded a scholarship, but don’t. Make sure you continue to work just as hard on your studies and keep practicing. This will help increase your chances of getting even more money in scholarships. In fact, it can even lead to a full-ride scholarship! Be sure to get involved with your local community and network with others that can help make connections in your field of study.


6) Think Ahead

Many scholarships have deadlines a few months in advance, so you’ll want to start looking for them early on. Also, make sure that you know what kind of scholarships your high school is offering. Most will give students a list of awards and other information about how to apply when they receive their senior year diplomas. If there aren’t any scholarships through your school, start searching online.


7) Understand the Value of Your Efforts

Before you can get a scholarship, someone has to know that you exist. This means telling everyone about your goals and asking them to share it with their network of professional contacts. Whether through school-based initiatives or referrals from your friends and family, you need to get yourself out there in order to maximize your chances of winning scholarships.


8) Use Technology to Save Time

If you don’t use technology to simplify your life, you might as well throw away your key. Technology has come a long way in terms of saving time and money. Now is an excellent time to make full use of modern technology’s wealth of benefits. Buy a smartphone instead of paying for a landline, subscribe to Amazon Prime rather than shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, and take advantage of online bill payment. The more you automate your daily tasks, the more time you’ll have left over to enjoy life!


9) Keep Trying

When it comes to scholarships, persistence pays off. If you apply for five or 10 and only get one, it can feel like a huge letdown. To keep things in perspective, be sure to celebrate that you earned any scholarship at all—and start applying again next year. You’ll have more information to put on your application (you have an entire year of accomplishments under your belt!) and perhaps a better idea of what scholarships are right for you. Whether you win or lose, don’t give up until every opportunity is exhausted.


10) Stay Positive

Finding a scholarship can be difficult and sometimes disheartening, especially when you’re used to succeeding in life. If you happen to fail at first, don’t panic. It’s normal to get frustrated and upset when you don’t find a scholarship quickly or if you don’t win any of them that you apply for. Don’t let these emotions interfere with your ability to do well in other aspects of your life—especially schoolwork! You want to make sure that your grades are still as good as they can be, so make sure that staying positive is part of keeping up your GPA.

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