6 Tips for Getting Scholarships!
Tip #1: Get involved in something you are passionate about Every school counselor we interviewed had this piece of advice: “Be yourself.” Do not think of this process as trying to fit into some “scholarship winner’s” mold. Pursue activities that you enjoy doing and participate in organizations that you are passionate about. You are much more likely to stick with an activity if you enjoy doing it. There are thousands of organizations out there, looking to give money to high-achieving students, whatever the activity may be. Not every scholarship requires that you participate in a sport, that you be on the school newspaper, or that you play an instrument. Being the National Yo-Yo Champion will likely impress many scholarship committees.
Tip #2: Quality Over Quantity Pick a handful of activities and do them well. Most scholarship committees are not interested in seeing that you participated in dozens of activities for 5 minutes each, but would rather know that you dedicated considerable chunks of time to a few activities. Scholarship committees want candidates who have made significant progress towards a goal or who have achieved something meaningful. By really immersing yourself in an activity, you demonstrate that you are a committed and responsible person.
Tip #3: Don’t Just Participate, LEAD! Scholarship committees want people with initiative. They want students who will squeeze all they can out of the opportunity that a college education offers. Therefore, once you’ve selected the activities in which you are interested, it is important to display as much leadership and initiative as possible. Don’t just join the environmental club, start a recycling program. If you are in the Spanish club, run for treasurer. CollegeToolkit.com is your one-stop scholarship and college admissions resource!
Tip #4: Make Yourself Known Don’t be a stranger to teachers and school counselors. They can be great sources of information on college, scholarships, and other opportunities in your school and your community. Also, lots of scholarships require letters of recommendation. If you have built a strong relationship with a handful of teachers and counselors, they are better equipped to write effective recommendations. This could just be the difference between being a finalist and winning a scholarship.
Tip #5: Keep Track of Your Accomplishments Don’t just throw away your “A” papers or your 1st Place ribbons. Start a file where you can save all these important documents and awards. They will come in handy down the line when you are preparing your scholarship and college applications. An outstanding English paper could give you a great idea for a scholarship essay. A collection of your Speech Team ribbons could help you as you create a list of all of your high school achievements.
Tip #6: Be Confident Don’t sell yourself short. Most students have a story to tell about their high school accomplishments. The easiest way to be eliminated is by not applying at all.
CollegeToolkit.com talked with school counselors to help unravel the mystery of winning a scholarship. While there may be no “magic formula,” we did uncover some useful advice formaking yourself a great scholarship (and college) candidate.
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CollegeToolkit.com is a one-stop scholarship and college resource. We allow students to find and apply for scholarships, search through a database of more than 4,000 colleges, and explore 900 careers all in one location. It is one of the most comprehensive sites for life after high school… and everything on the site is free for students to use!