Is it abnormal to apply for scholarships as a sophomore in high school ?
Congrats on thinking ahead... it's a smart move to apply for scholarships as a high school sophomore!
Firstly, there are scholarships intended for your grade level (see below).
Secondly, the number of scholarships available are abundant. However, it takes time to filter them and identify those that you have the greatest chance of being awarded. Therefore, starting now and making notes of scholarships that you have the greatest chance of being awarded is gold.
Furthermore, by the time your junior and senior years come around, you'll already know which one's you're applying to, what is required, will have your essays ready, and can get your application in on time. In addition, your early search can help you to begin to identify those qualification required for those significant scholarships that will cover most of your college costs. As a result, you can plan your academic year with greater insight.
Thirdly, the more scholarships you earn, the more likely you are to be awarded more. My personal journey is an example. I devoted much of my time to a honors program which helped new students transition into college. At the end of the year, I was awarded The Most Outstanding Member Award - given to only one person annually. I continued my contribution and eventually became the honors president. I was then awarded a scholarship for service at the regional convention the following year. At the end of that year, another organization, the city's retired teachers' association, awarded me with the Most Promising Future Educator Scholarship. In all of my applications, I had to share my activities, prior achievements, and future goals. Having prior awards demonstrated to scholarship committees that others were also willing to take a chance on me.
· Narrow down scholarships - don't waste your time with those you are unlikely to get. Identify scholarships that are unique to your characteristics, such as field of interest, ethnic group, sex, economic and family educational standing, faith, and geographic region.
· Consider the overall financial picture with your parents/guardian - other ways to pay for college include attending community college initially, attending a four-year university that will cover all your costs based on your family's financial situations, among others.
· Be honest about yourself, your passions and life on your scholarship applications.
Joseph recommends the following next steps:
Hi Nia! I don't think it's ever too early to apply for scholarships. I know some scholarships may have an age requirement, so if you're eligible, I would 100% apply! I personally applied early on and I didn't stop applying until my senior year in college. I applied to scholarships at my college and I applied to external scholarships (companies and different programs within your state may offer scholarships so do some research). I did receive some scholarships from my college, but I had never received an external scholarship until my senior year in college and it was the largest scholarship I ever received! I think this just shows that even if you apply to 100 and don't get any, that doesn't mean you should stop. I applied for 10 scholarships every summer and didn't get one till my last year, but it was well worth it and a tremendous help to my family and I.
This link may help you find some of the external scholarships I mentioned: https://www.scholarships.com/
I hope this helps! Best of luck to you!