Unfortunately, we all know that attending college in the US can be expensive. The average cost of going to a private university or college is a whopping $35,000 per year. However, scholarships are a great way for high schoolers to make college more affordable and bridge the financial gap when it comes to college admissions.
Finding and securing college scholarships can be a real challenge – especially for high school seniors who want to start applying for college. But the payoff is worth it – scholarship money can range from a few hundred dollars to full tuition. Unfortunately, many scholarships for high schoolers go unused because students don’t know about them or don’t prepare properly while applying for them. So, if you’re a high schooler looking for scholarships, don’t worry – we’ve got your back. Here are 5 tips and extra guidance to help you find and obtain scholarships that can really make a difference in your pursuit of higher education.
1. Do your due diligence by researching all easy scholarships you could possibly get
Searching for easy scholarships to get can be a tedious task, but the rewards can be worth it. To maximize your search, do your homework and look into all the scholarship options that are available to you. You can find numerous websites with scholarship databases, such as:
Fastweb is a free scholarship database providing high school students with access to over 1.5 million scholarship opportunities. By creating a custom profile to showcase their academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and interests, students can easily find scholarships that match their qualifications. Furthermore, Fastweb offers support with helpful resources and articles on topics such as crafting strong essays and navigating financial aid to aid students in the scholarship application process.
Scholarships.com is an invaluable platform that empowers high school students to access a wide variety of scholarship opportunities. This website also provides users with helpful resources to monitor deadlines and streamline the application process. The website contains informative articles and expert advice on topics such as crafting an effective scholarship essay and mastering the financial aid process.
Cappex provides a comprehensive scholarship database designed to assist high school seniors across the country. This platform offers a unique feature that allows users to determine their potential for acceptance into a college based on their academic performance and credentials. In addition, Cappex provides users with helpful resources and information regarding the college application process.
Dig into the local community
When seeking out scholarships for college, don’t overlook your local community. Numerous local businesses and organizations offer scholarships to students in the community. Additionally, consult your school college counselor, visit your local community center, and check out local organizations and businesses to see if they have any scholarship opportunities. Plus, if you’re an athlete, you can look into athletic scholarships and potentially even get a full-ride scholarship based on your sport and academic performance.
Search for easy scholarships that you fit
When looking for scholarships, it is essential to identify options that match your interests, background, and experiences. If you are, for instance, a captain of a high school sports team, look for scholarship opportunities specifically catered to high school athletes who have demonstrated leadership.
Similarly, if you are a high school freshman, it is important to research and take advantage of the various scholarship opportunities available to you. To maximize your chances of securing scholarship funding, be sure to investigate all the scholarships available specifically for freshmen. Additionally, you should also check with your school counselor and local community organizations to see if they offer any scholarships specifically for freshmen or for high school sports captains.
2. Contact the scholarship entity/organizer if you have questions
Another tip for you is: don’t allow hesitation to stop you from applying for a scholarship. If you have any questions or doubts regarding a scholarship opportunity, get in touch with the scholarship provider or coordinator. If necessary, request further clarification.
3. Make a spreadsheet of all the opportunities
Also, it is imperative to keep an organized record of all the scholarship opportunities you come across. To ensure you are meeting the necessary requirements for each scholarship, creating a spreadsheet to save deadlines, specifications, and other significant information is essential. Doing so will help you remain organized and guarantee that all requirements are fulfilled.
4. Write compelling scholarship essays
A number of scholarships may need you to submit an essay as part of the application process. Take your time to craft a compelling essay for your scholarship application that reflects your skills, experiences, and ambitions. Be truthful, concise, and straightforward. Also, don’t make claims about yourself that aren’t true. Have a mentor, like a teacher or guidance counselor, review your essay for feedback.
If you need help brainstorming, here is a list of brainstorming exercises for college essays that could help you with scholarship essays too! On top of that, if you would like to get the help of an online tutor to craft a great essay, you can find an affordable and helpful online tutor on Lessonpal.
5. Stay organized and on top of deadlines
It is super important to remain organized and cognizant of deadlines in order to secure scholarships effectively. Taking note of deadlines and submitting all necessary materials prior to the designated time is essential. Don’t risk missing out on a potential scholarship due to a missed deadline! Here are some quick tips to help you stay on top of the scholarship deadline:
- Utilizing a calendar is a great way to stay organized and on top of deadlines.
- Track all necessary documents and materials with a checklist.
- To keep everything in one convenient location, take advantage of online tools such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Breaking down large tasks, such as essay writing, into smaller chunks makes them easier to manage.
- Create a master list of all college application deadlines.
- Be sure to stay consistent with the schedule for working on college applications.
What to do after submitting a scholarship application
After you apply for a scholarship, follow up with the scholarship provider to ensure that your application has been received. If you do not receive confirmation within a few weeks, contact the organization to make sure everything has been processed correctly. Be sure to adhere to any instructions concerning further steps, like interviews and documentation, and submit the required materials on time to avoid disqualification.
Considering the high level of competition for scholarships, you should continue to look for and apply to other scholarship opportunities while waiting for decisions on the applications you have already submitted. If you are fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship, follow the guidelines provided by the scholarship provider on the next steps.
The big picture
The cost of higher education is continuously increasing, making scholarships an invaluable asset for high schoolers who aspire to attend college. Although the process of finding and securing scholarships can be daunting, with the right approach and commitment, you can increase your chances of success.
To maximize your scholarship opportunities, you should thoroughly research all possibilities, contact scholarship providers to ask questions, stay organized, and write compelling essays. Additionally, it is essential to utilize community resources such as local organizations for scholarship opportunities.
Although the pursuit of scholarships may be challenging, by following the advice shared here, high schoolers can take a proactive approach toward making their dreams of higher education a reality. Even if you do not receive the scholarships you applied for, you should not be discouraged; you can always give it another shot.
If you need help writing scholarship essays or getting college counseling, you can get the help of a tutor from Lessonpal and increase your chances of getting the scholarship of your choice!