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Talk about when you did/did not recieve a scholarship?

As a college freshman, I have been applying for scholarships online in hopes that it will help reduce the amount that my parent and I have to cover, but I am honestly not sure how effective applying is. Applying to scholarships is easy, but what about winning them? Everyone always says to apply for scholarships to help pay for college, but what are your experiences in doing so? Does anyone have any inspiring stories about when they actually received one? Or, do you have any stories about when you applied for so many but, despite your efforts, it never got you anywhere? #scholarships #college #help #financial-aid

Thank you comment icon Yes, I have applied for many scholarships and received several. Most of the ones I received have been smaller scholarships where the applicant pool isn't as big (primarily ones limited to people of background [ethnicity, religion, state, and disability as well as field of interest]). I did get one that was based on an artistic challenge and another national one (Fulbright) based on essays/interviews/letters of recommendation. Look through Cappex and Fastweb as well as AZ Scholarships, and try to find scholarships you qualify for (but the rest of the world probably doesn't.) Katarzyna
Thank you comment icon Those ones that are like "design your favourite ice cream flavour" or "no essay easy $2000" are not ones you are going to win. If you find it fun to enter those, go ahead, but do not pretend or think that you might that money. You need to find scholarships for students in Texas (or wherever you are) or ones that are tailored for students who play volleyball or whatever your interest is. And write those essays. Good luck! Katarzyna
Thank you comment icon I never thought about it that way. Thank you :D Armando

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Subject: Career question for you

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Ken’s Answer

The most important thing to do when you are considering college and applying for scholarships is career focus. Getting to know yourself better to develop a career focus and then meeting and talking to people who are doing what you think that you might want to do to see what they do, how they got there, and find out what advice they might have is very important.


After acquiring an appropriate focus, you can contact various people in professional associations related to your career area, the reference librarian at your local library, your academic adviser, your major department head, your religious organization (if you have one), just to name a few.


Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
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Raquel’s Answer

From my experience, the main thing to remember is to not get discouraged by all the "no"s you're going to receive. When I was a senior in high school, I applied to at least 100 scholarships and only got 7 of them. I still have all my essays in my Google Drive and I sometimes like to look back on how far I've come. You're going to get a lot of no's but it's the yes's that count. You may feel like there is no point in applying, but what if the one scholarship you decided not to apply for was the one that would have paid for your books or housing?

I was very fortunate to be a part of the Be a Leader Foundation in Arizona and they honestly helped me go to college and pay for it. They provided me with college-going mentors who helped me with my essays and made sure the essays followed the prompt, were well-written, and provided some insight on adversity that I faced along with what I learned from it. If you don't have any mentors, I would suggest reaching out to your English teacher, school advisor, or career center advisor and see if they can proof-read your essay. Your essay should typically be in story-form where you can talk about any challenges that most of your peers don't typically face and what you learned from it, any impact you've made in your community, or any impact you hope to make in your community in the future. Those are typically the main prompts you'll come across. I learned that a lot of places used the same prompt but had different wording so it was easier to re-use some of the same essays. However, if you re-use the same essay, make sure multiple people have read it to ensure it's a strong essay.

I can say for certain that there were many times were I felt discouraged and lazy and didn't want to put the time in to write so many essays. But I was a first-generation student with immigrant parents and I felt like I had the responsibility to put myself through college because of their sacrifices. I wanted my parents to know that the life they left behind was worth it and I promised myself that I would uphold that belief every day. Whenever you feel discouraged, remind yourself for the reason why you want to go to college in the first place. If you can't find a reason, simply think of writing essays as a job. If you take 40 hours applying for scholarships and you get one worth $5,000, that's $125/hour! Sometimes, perspective is all it takes to keep that motivation running.

Good luck on your journey!

Raquel recommends the following next steps:

Learn to not get discouraged by hearing "no"
Find a mentor/advisor/teacher to read your essays. Someone will always be willing to help!
Ask yourself if your essays shine light to who you are, what inspires you, and the challenges you've faced.
Find your motivation to keep applying! The one "yes" is all it takes to make it all worth it.
Feeling angry and upset after hearing "no" (especially if you stayed up all night writing an essay) is okay. Your feelings are valid and it's okay to sit with those emotions for a moment. Be kind to yourself, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that it's all going to work out in the end (trust me on that last one).
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