3 answers

I can not seem to win any scholarships, does anyone have any suggestions on how to win any?

Asked Reidsville, North Carolina

Because I am not having no luck getting anything. I am a good student with a GPA of 3.9 and top 5 in my class. #scholarships #financial-aid

3 answers

Stuart’s Answer

Updated Rockville, Maryland

Do you write an essay when you apply for these scholarships? Even if an essay is listed as "optional," you should read that as "required." Remember that scholarships generally have requirements or guidelines, and they're generally merit based. That means that everyone applying for that scholarship meets a certain baseline, and your job is to make yourself stand out from that baseline.

In your example, you need to think about how many other applicants also had a 3.9 GPA, etc. If it just comes down to numbers, the selection committee really has no way of making meaningful determinations. That's why essays come into play. An essay is your opportunity to say something that sets you apart from other applicants.

That means that the essay should be taken very seriously and not just treated as "a part you have to complete." It's an opportunity to tell your story. One of my colleagues at work just gave a workshop on writing winning scholarship essays, based on our experiences administrating scholarships over the past few years. So many of the essays said precisely the same thing. "College is expensive. It constitutes an economic hardship for my family. This scholarship would make things easier." Anyone reading that will sympathize. The problem is that, if everyone says that, it's no more compelling when you say it than it is when anyone else says it. It becomes a largely useless metric for making decisions.

Reviewers need to hear a more individualized version of that story. They need to why they should select you. Part of that is based on need, but a lot of it is based on plan. By that, I mean that funders will want to know that the resources they're giving out will be well spent. Taking some time to talk about how this funding fits into your larger PLAN will help. Why are you pursuing this degree? What do you plan on doing next? Why is this personal to you?

Think about the things YOU find compelling in a story. They're the same things other readers find compelling, and they need to be a part of your essay. Make the scholarship application your own, so that the committee feels they're awarding a scholarship to a person and not just a name on an application.

Does that make sense?

Kishma’s Answer


Please don't get discouraged and remember there are many other students applying also. You may want to connect with a school counselor and/or student who has experienced some success in this area. Remember the individuals reviewing the information are looking for the best candidate based on the information presented. You may never have the opportunity to meet anyone in person, so please ensure your application reflects the best representation of who you are and your accomplishments. In addition, you want to select scholarships that already align with your interest, ability and accomplishments. I recommend you spend time vetting the scholarships before you apply.

I am confident you will be successful...Good Luck!!!!

I would agree greatly with this comment. I have been applying for scholarships since I the beginning of my senior year in high school. I have only just recently got my first scholarship for $1,000 and I am a week from graduating high school. The scholarship I received is also for the career path I am taking so that did help out greatly. Don't give up just because you haven't received anything yet. There is always a chance you might get it. Just keep trying!!
I had the same problem! I actually starting applying for scholarships my junior year, but I never seemed to win. Finally my senior year I won three smaller scholarships from local organizations that I found on a list from my high school counselor. The national scholarships are so competitive. Try the local or regional scholarships because the number of students applying is smaller.

Linda’s Answer

Updated Sharon, Massachusetts

There are different kinds of scholarships. Try to apply another one. In the meantime, talk to your teacher or counselor to get help. Know yourself and to be better yourself. Next time you will win!