You’re young, times are tough, and you know by now that college in the United States can leave you with debt for the rest of your life. A college degree today is the equivalent to a high school diploma forty years ago in the eyes of employers, which means if you truly want to pursue a future, you’re likely wondering where you’re going to find the money to get this essential further education. You’ve heard horror stories about college living and student loans, and everyone knows that scholarships can lighten the load. But what even is a scholarship and how do people win them? Here are ten tips on how to boost your chances of winning that scholarship money.
Start Looking Now– And Don’t Stop
Don’t wait until your senior year in high school to start looking and applying for scholarships, or you’ll miss a lot of possibilities. There are scholarships available to all students, not just high school seniors. Keep looking for viable scholarship opportunities even when you’re in college.
Use All Your Resources
You’ll find a lot of tools for finding scholarships online, but don’t stop there. Keep your eye on local scholarships posted near guidance counselors, financial aid offices, and libraries. Take advantage of every opportunity!
Apply, Apply, Apply!
Apply to every scholarship you are eligible to win. Keep an eye out for less competitive scholarships like small awards and writing contests, they’re relatively easy to win and they can really add up. Keep a calendar with submission deadlines and try your hardest not to miss them.
If you’re filling out an application or writing an essay, be unique. You want to catch the eye of the sponsor and impress them in every way you can. Edit your application to the sponsor’s goals and always go over the instructions carefully. Be passionate, give examples, and be specific.
Keep It Professional
Use an acceptable email address such as your name, create a new one if you have to. Edit your online social media profiles and make yourself look good, get rid of anything inappropriate or immature that may dissuade someone from supporting you.
The essay prompt may be more challenging than you had anticipated, you may hate what you’ve written, the deadline may be right around the corner and you’ve hardly started… No matter what problems come up it’s important that you submit applications on time and make sure it’s your best work. You can’t win if you don’t try!
Photo: Mik Kubacko