I need an academic counselor? I'm a junior.
I know my school has counselors, but I feel like this is such an easy platform to get answers. I'm a Junior, and I want to start applying to scholarships. I have high expectations for myself and my future, I really want a head start now. #academiccounselor #NHS #HOSA
START NOW – YOUR JUNIOR YEAR
Getting a head start gives you more time to research which scholarships are worth your time and energy. Once you know the best options, you’ll have plenty of space to complete the applications that other students may have skipped. Some scholarships are available to freshmen and sophomores in high school, so knock those applications out of the way as early as possible. Many scholarships have limited funds. That means the earlier you apply, the more likely it is you’ll be rewarded before that budget runs out. It’s even more of a reason to get a move on.
USE A SCHOLARSHIP MATCHING PROGRAM
Gone are the days of paper applications in the guidance counselor’s office. Now you can quickly search through huge databases of thousands of available scholarships online. Through filters and keywords, you can find the ones that fit your qualifications, experiences, background, or unique interests. Focus on the scholarships you’re a good match for and rule out the ones where you don’t meet all the requirements. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the options. Just take your time narrowing down the scholarships that make sense. You shouldn’t have to pay for scholarships or for scholarship searches. School counselors and school financial aid offices can recommend reputable options.
TAP INTO YOUR NETWORK
Spread the word to your employer, coaches, friends, and members of your community that you’re looking for scholarships. Ask your parents to check with their friends and HR departments at work about scholarships for family members. There are usually a lot of scholarships offered locally that are not particularly well advertised. You can often find these through your high school counselor, in the local paper, or at the library. Check in directly with local foundations, community organizations, and local businesses to see if they offer any scholarships, too. Ask your guidance counselor which scholarships are the most popular and which are more tailored to your background. You can also work together to find specific scholarships from the schools you want to apply to. Talking with an expert will help you focus your search so that it serves your needs more efficiently.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS DO COUNT
When applying for scholarships (or jobs or colleges), the person reviewing your application might Google you. Make sure they find the right kind of results. Most students opt to make their social media private, but you should know that there are still ways for colleges to see what you post. It’s a good idea to refresh your LinkedIn profile, social media accounts, and personal website so you can control what searchers will find. If you don’t have a personal website or portfolio, now is the time to make one. Sites like Wix or Squarespace offer free, easy-to-use website builders. It’s never too early to invest in a domain name and website you control. Getting your name out there and highlighting your strengths and interests is a great way to make yourself known and available.
Hope this was helpful
John recommends the following next steps:
John gives excellent advice! Bottom line, starting now, and all through the remainder of your academic career, YOU need to be responsible for You! Academic advisors have way too many students to be able to delve into what is going to be best for you. There's no shortcut. Read. Don't skip over anything. Read it all. Make lists. Do whatever works for you!
When you get to college, you will find there are different lists of required classes. There are the basic state required ones, ones the school requires, and ones required for your major. Sometimes the advisors are good and give you checklists to help keep you on track. Other times, not so good. So, make your own checklists!
The more you can learn to be your own best advocate, the further you will go, in school and career! Sorry I don't have much to say about scholarships. Apply to all the ones you are qualified for! It's a lot of work, but it's worth it!