2. Maintain strong academic performance: Many scholarships consider academic achievement as a key criterion. Focus on your studies, strive for good grades, and aim to excel in standardized tests like the SAT or ACT.
3. Build an impressive resume: Participate in extracurricular activities, clubs, community service, leadership roles, and sports. Develop your talents, demonstrate initiative, and showcase your accomplishments. Scholarships often consider a well-rounded profile.
4. Personal essays and statements: Pay close attention to the application essays and personal statements required for scholarships. Craft compelling and genuine narratives that highlight your experiences, goals, and aspirations. Make sure to proofread and seek feedback from teachers or mentors.
5. Letters of recommendation: Cultivate relationships with teachers, counselors, or community leaders who can write strong letters of recommendation. Choose individuals who know you well and can attest to your character, achievements, and potential.
6. Financial aid applications: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and any additional financial aid applications required by colleges or scholarship programs. These forms assess your eligibility for need-based scholarships, grants, and other financial assistance.
7. Local and community scholarships: Explore scholarships offered by local organizations, businesses, community foundations, and civic groups. These scholarships may have fewer applicants and can be more accessible.
8. Prepare for interviews: Some scholarships may require interviews as part of the selection process. Practice interviewing skills, research the scholarship organization, and be prepared to discuss your qualifications and aspirations confidently.
9. Deadlines and organization: Pay close attention to scholarship deadlines and requirements. Create a calendar or tracking system to ensure you submit all necessary documents on time.
10. Seek guidance and support: Consult your high school guidance counselor or college advisor for assistance with finding scholarships and navigating the application process. They can provide valuable resources, advice, and help you stay organized.
I strongly encourage you to seize every opportunity and apply for numerous scholarships, regardless of their size! Each one, whether it's a small amount of $100 or larger amount of $10,000, can provide valuable financial support. I'd particularly recommend focusing on local scholarships. The reason being, the number of applicants is typically smaller compared to national ones, which significantly boosts your chances of success!
Best of luck to you!
1) Understand the colleges that you're applying to.
-What I mean by this is that you should have a list of schools that you're applying to based off your grades and your standardized test scores. In my mind there are three types of schools to each applicant. The first are what I consider to be "locks"/safety schools. The average gpa and standardized test scores of the applicants are below what you have. It is more than likely that you will earn merit-based aid from these types of schools. The next type of schools are your "target" schools. The average gpa and test scores of accepted applicants falls right in range of what you have. Although it isn't uncommon, it is more of a 50/50 shot you will earn merit-based aid from these types of schools in my opinion (especially if they're public institutions and in-state). The last type of school are "reach" schools. These are schools where you may fall short academically, but in some instances they will let you in. It is unlikely that these schools award you financial aid in my opinion. I may be incorrect, but every school automatically considers their applicants for merit-based aid. Understanding the schools you applied to is a good way to determine whether they will give you merit-based aid. Apply to a variety of each type of these schools so you give yourself options in terms of financial aid.
2) Apply to many scholarships.
-Once you apply to your schools, they will likely have forms on their portal which will allow you to apply to any additional scholarships and programs that they may have (usually consisting of some form of aid). Aside from this, merit-based scholarships don't have to be done through the school. Various companies and grants across the country offer merit based scholarships to students. Start by Googling many and then apply to as many as possible. Even if they are for small amounts, if you earn many they can quickly add up to a substantial amount. Just make sure that you allocate plenty of time for these, they often consist of essays and applications.
As far as I can remember, these were the tips that benefited me most. I applied to 13 schools. I got into 11 of them. Of these 2 were reach schools (got into one), 6 were target schools (got into 5 and 4 offered me aid. This includes the school I attended) and 4 safety schools (Got aid from all of them and got in). As long as you're diligent with applications for schools and scholarships you should be fine.
I hope that this helped!
The best advice I can give is research (google, call, email) and apply to as many as you possibly can. Remember that things can add up. A scholarship of $200 may not sound like much, but do that 20 times about you have $4000, 30 of those gives you $6000. My sister paid for an entire semester abroad by getting hundreds of those smaller type scholarships (Some as small as $25). Some of them were silly too, like submit your best picture of you with a cow and the state flag (or something like that).
Many organisations have scholarship programs, so if there are an Head Quarters/ Larger companies in your city or town, go to their website and see if they have something, or call them and ask: worse case they say no and you move on with your day.
There will be many of those smaller ones ($100 or $300 maybe even $50) that get overlooked or have low applications. They can be writing contests, photo contests, doing community work, knowledge/skill contest or event and getting in a lottery etc.
As an example, with the Essay ones, may times it's a similar theme: "what do you want to do when you grow up?" or "why do you deserve this scholarship?" or "what makes you unique?". You may be able to repurpose the same essay with some minor tweaks for multiple scholarship entries.
I would look for both National but also Local opportunities. The benefit to Local is there will be less "competition" and will increase your chances of being awarded.
Here is a google search that may help:
Next, do some research to see what other scholarships are out there. For instance, Burger King typically offers a $500 scholarship that not many people are not aware of, and there are so many scholarships available to students. If you're specifically seeking academic scholarships, make sure to specify that during your search. Also, check for scholarships within your state. Some states offer specific scholarships and grants for high-achieving students.
If none of these answers are what you're looking for, reach out to the financial aid office of your school. They'll likely have similar suggestions, but they might also direct you to some specific websites. I hope you find this information helpful!
Not only should you apply to as many scholarships as you can, it's important to keep in mind other factors as well. If you want to receive an academic scholarship, you should strive to maintain a high GPA. You can do this by developing effective study methods that allow you to actually learn the material, and apply it. Not only that, when writing for your scholarship essay's, try to make sure that you are answering the prompt in a clear and concise way. Aka, make sure a reader reading your essay can clearly point out the areas you excel in, and the reasons why you deserve that scholarship.
Best of luck to you!