Applying for scholarships can be an overwhelming process, but following a few key tips can help increase your chances of being awarded financial aid. As a high school student, there are several steps you can take to set yourself up for success and make the application process easier.
Start Early: Make sure to start your scholarship search early! Many scholarships have deadlines that are months before the award is given out, so it’s important to plan ahead and give yourself enough time to apply. Start researching various scholarships as soon as possible, and make sure to pay attention to any upcoming deadlines.
Research Thoroughly: Spend some time researching different types of scholarships to see which ones you are eligible for and best fit your goals and interests. Look at national opportunities as well as local ones to maximize your number of potential awards, and don’t forget about scholarship competitions you may be able to enter into for a chance at recognition and monetary awards.
Stay Organized: As you begin applying for scholarships, create a chart or spreadsheet so that you can keep all of your information in one place. This should include things like scholarship name, deadline, requirements, amount available, contact information and more so that you can stay organized throughout the process.
Craft an Impressive Essay: Many scholarship applications will ask you to submit an essay explaining why you deserve it or how it will help reach your academic or career goals; this is where you can really stand out from other applicants and show what sets you apart from the crowd! Take some time to brainstorm ideas before writing anything down – it may even be helpful to have someone review your essay before submitting it with fresh eyes!
Take Initiative: A great way to get noticed by scholarship committees is by taking initiative outside the classroom; things like volunteering in your community or starting a club that is related to something special in your life (such as music or technology) could give you an edge over other applicants who have simply done well academically.
Ask For Letters of Recommendation: Consider asking teachers or counselors who know you well if they could write a letter of recommendation on your behalf – showcase how hardworking or passionate about something specific that you are! These letters can go a long way in helping establish credibility when applying for scholarships; however, make sure to ask those who would speak truly positively about yourself rather than those who might merely say okay things about you due their obligation as a teacher/counselor/etc..
Get Creative With Your Applications: Make sure each application stands out – add something unique that captures the reader’s attention beyond just checking off all the boxes on the form itself! It could be a creative design element on the page itself; adding additional pages with charts/graphs/pictures related directly back to what they’re asking; or even including examples from experienced reenforcing why what they’re offering matters most specifically for YOU!
Follow Up On Submitted Applications: Once all of your applications have been sent out, don’t just sit back and wait – follow up on them! Send friendly emails asking if there has been any movement regarding your application status; this shows that not only are you eager but also professional enough in understanding that sometimes these processes take time so simply following up makes sure everyone involved stays aware & on track with timescales agreed upon beforehand!
Don’t Give Up Hope: It’s easy to feel discouraged if some (or even all!) of your applications do not get accepted right away – remember every ‘no’ means one closer step towards eventual ‘yeses’ later down road & keep applying whenever possible since ultimately only limited offers ever made versus number people competing against each other (which oftentimes means competition fierce). So never give up hope & push forward – because at end day persistance will more often pay off than quitting when going gets tough initially!