10 Tips to Help You Win a Scholarship
Are you are looking to win a scholarship to help pay your college tuition, but aren’t sure how to go about it? If so, don’t worry – this article can help! In this article you will find 10 steps that will help you win a scholarship to help with your college tuition and other expenses. Even if you have never won a scholarship before, follow these simple steps and you will be on your way to earning some much-needed money!
1) Plan early
This may sound obvious, but a scholarship is no small feat. Start early and set aside time on weekends to work on your project. Allow at least one month of concentrated effort if you are just starting out, then plan for several months or even years if you have been working on it already. Make sure that you can commit plenty of time and effort before getting started. A lack of commitment is often reflected in poor results!
2) Get your GPA up
If you want to win a scholarship, it’s probably going to require some serious study. If your GPA is below 3.0, check out our list of easy ways to raise your GPA . Once you’ve got that up, it’s time for scholarship-hunting. Start with researching different scholarships (the easiest way is via Google) and narrow down your list based on various factors like funding category and requirements. And finally, make sure you’re submitting applications as early as possible.
3) Take easy classes
Because scholarships are merit-based awards, you want to avoid taking classes that will keep your GPA down. That means staying away from hard science and advanced math courses—both of which will keep your GPA low and aren’t necessary for most degrees. Stay away from advanced languages, too; if you have any interest in learning them, use community college credits as practice for going abroad.
4) Don’t procrastinate on scholarship applications
Many students put off filling out scholarship applications, thinking that it won’t matter because they are too busy or will get around to them eventually. But if you delay, you might miss deadlines and lose out on important funding. It’s not worth it. Start today—begin with our list of scholarships below!
5) Volunteer for things you care about
One of my biggest regrets from high school is that I didn’t get involved in as many extracurricular activities as I could have. By devoting just a few hours of your time to community service and other forms of volunteer work, you can not only impress colleges but also build skills and make connections that will last you for years. So why not help with your city’s annual food drive? Or volunteer at your local animal shelter? There are so many ways you can give back; do some research to see what catches your eye! Once you find something interesting, ask if they offer any sort of scholarship opportunities—you might be surprised!
6) Be active on social media
Becoming active on social media is an easy way to become more engaged with your classmates and peers. While social networking has its drawbacks, it can also be a great resource for creating academic-related connections. Consider joining student associations, reaching out to professors on LinkedIn, or reaching out for professional advice and feedback on Twitter. There’s no right or wrong way—just find what works best for you. You never know who will provide you with valuable contacts and resources in your future career.
7) Follow each school’s guidelines
There are hundreds of scholarships out there, and each has its own eligibility requirements. Be sure you understand exactly what your prospective scholarship wants before you start applying, or you could wind up with some nasty surprises when it comes time for awards season. We have a thorough guide on how to find scholarships here. Even if you don’t need money right now, it’s worth doing some research because who knows? Maybe there’s an award out there that fits into your plans. Getting started is easy: Simply Google [School Name] scholarships and/or [Your major] scholarships. Better yet, Google [Your school name] + scholarships and/or [Your major] + scholarships. With any luck, a nice list of resources will pop up in your search results.
8) Go beyond the minimum requirements
For most scholarships, you’ll be expected to submit an application with an essay, but getting your application in on time isn’t enough. Be sure that you know and meet all of the requirements for your chosen scholarship. For example, if they ask for two recommendations, make sure you have two recommendations. If they ask for evidence of extracurricular activities, gather those up and make sure they’re included. Additionally, look at information about previous winners: What qualities do scholarship committees look for? Are there any trends in their winners’ backgrounds? This will help you tailor your application toward winning over scholarship judges.
9) Keep track of your applications/submissions
Some scholarships will require you to keep track of your applications and submissions, while others won’t. Either way, it’s always a good idea to keep track of where you applied and what happened. If you were denied from any of your top choices, it’s important that you don’t just send more applications off haphazardly—you should try and find out why you were denied so that next time around, you can avoid it. Additionally, if you plan on reapplying next year or know someone who is looking for scholarships, ask them if they have copies of their application packets. It’s really handy when someone is trying to get funding! Remember: Keep track of where/when/how many times you apply!
10) Don’t give up!
Scholarships are tough to win, but not impossible. You can do it! It just takes time, persistence and hard work. While there are no guarantees that you’ll receive a scholarship, here are some tips for increasing your chances of winning