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How do I get/earn scholarships? What do universities or other organizations look for??

What should I do to increase my chances of earning money for my future in college?

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From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


4 answers

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J’s Answer

There are many ways you can earn/apply for scholarships. A great resources is If you go to their resource page, there are excellent worksheets (checklists, scholarship checklist, application checklist) to help you with your college journey. The worksheets are free. You also may elect to sign-up to search for scholarships at the website.

Another good resource, if you are in high school, is your guidance counselor. Additionally, companies may offer scholarships to employees or family members of employees or, they may offer scholarships in areas where they have a major presence. So, inquire at your work or have your parent/guardian inquire at their work.

As far as what some universities/colleges look for: good grades, community service and a well written scholarship application. You may be required to write a personal statement discussing who you are, your interests and where you see yourself down the road. What is asked for in a personal statement may vary; however, it is a chance to let the funders know who you are

Some scholarships at colleges and universities are needs based. So, get your admissions application in as early as possible, and submit your financial aid form as early as possible.

I hope this helps
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T.J.’s Answer

Hello Ben,

Scholarships are hard to earn. I understand that it feels tricky.

I would start off with your GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and high school activities.

Let's say you have a GPA of 3.5 and a SAT score of 1220, for example. Keep your numbers in mind.

Then, you could look in two places:
- In your school district
- Colleges across your state

It might be easier to start locally in your school district, because you're competing against less applicants.

(If you find a scholarship online and apply for it, your chances of winning might be lower... Because everyone else can see it and they're apply for it at the same time as you).

Like others said, definitely ask your guidance counselor. If they have some for you, apply as soon as possible.

Then - Look at universities across your state and see which scholarships they have on their websites.
(In-state schools are cheaper than out-of-state schools. However, if you know of a out-of-state university that provides in-state tuition to those outside your state, include them in your search process!)

You remember the GPA/Test scores earlier?
Usually, Colleges ask for a specific GPA or test score to determine whether they're eligible to apply.

Take a look at the requirements for every single scholarship. See if your academic scores meet the requirements.

Don't look at all the scholarships at just 𝐎𝐍𝐄 school.
Don't look at 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐚 𝐟𝐞𝐰 scholarships across 1-3 schools.

Look at 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 scholarship at 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 school!!!

You never know how much universities are willing to pay you.

You might feel a bit concerned:
- What if my GPA/SAT score isn't high?
Depending on what year you are in high school, increase your GPA as much as you can.
If you're a senior with a low/bad grade or test score, that's okay.

See if the scholarships allow another option besides grades or scores. Maybe you could do an additional essay or an interview.

- What if I don't think I'll win the scholarship?
Apply anyway.

Again: You never know how much universities are willing to pay you for your efforts in high school.

Besides your grades, you can stand out by:
- Completing volunteer work.
- Participating in acts of leadership.
- Doing sports for a few years.

Ultimately, display passion through the application processes and showcase the best version of yourself as possible.

Sending you the best of luck as you prepare applying for scholarships :)
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Emily’s Answer

Hi Ben, great question! Applying for scholarships can be a daunting process at first, but it can be fun if you view it as a scavenger hunt for money! Here are a few tips:

1. Research! There are many resources available online such as scholarship search engines, online databases, and school websites. You can also reach out to your school’s guidance counselor or financial aid office for assistance.

2. Read the Requirements Carefully

3. Follow the instructions for each application. This may include writing essays, submitting transcripts, and providing letters of recommendation. Make sure you submit your application on time, as well.

4. Be true to yourself! Scholarship committees are looking for genuine and authentic applicants who are passionate about their chosen field of study. Use your application to showcase your personality, interests, and achievements.

5. Apply to as many scholarships as you can!
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Jacqueline’s Answer

Hi Ben,

You can check with your career counselor at your school. They often have a list of scholarships that students can apply as well as advice on how to apply. Remember no scholarship amount is too small it all adds up!

Best of luck!!