How To Win Scholarships: A Guide For College Students
Almost every college student dreams of getting some type of financial aid to help pay for school. You’ve probably spent many hours researching scholarships, or even writing your own essay to win one. But how do you get started? Do you just apply to any scholarship and hope it works out? No! There are specific steps you should take in order to increase your chances of winning a scholarship. The following guide will teach you everything you need to know about finding and winning scholarships as a college student.
The first and most important thing to remember is that there are no general strategies for winning scholarships. The process is different from college to college, and even within each institution, it can change from year to year. Although there are plenty of myths out there about how you should go about winning scholarships, in reality, only you can figure out what’s going to work best for you. Here are a few tips though
Filling Out The Application
While there are dozens of scholarships to apply for, most of them will have similar requirements. That’s because colleges give away a lot of money and they’re looking for students who meet certain criteria, like GPA and major. Check out your school’s financial aid office or website to see what kind of applications you need to fill out. Many will have downloadable PDFs that you can use as a template, but make sure you go through them carefully—they’ll likely have some items specific to your college. If not, ask someone at financial aid if they could point you in the right direction—they should be able to show you what forms and documents your peers used when applying for their own scholarships.
Avoiding Common Mistakes
Think about all of your school’s clubs, activities, honor societies and sports teams. Then add on anything else you might be involved in (volunteer work, projects). The point is to make sure you apply for everything that could conceivably award money or resources to college students. If you find yourself thinking that scholarship is only for honors students, stop and reconsider whether or not it applies to you. While it is true that some scholarships are reserved for specific groups of people (i.e., current sorority members), many other scholarships welcome all kinds of applicants with any kind of financial need.
Where To Apply
The ideal time to start looking for scholarships is during your freshman year of college. However, don’t let that deter you from applying later in your academic career. You can still find and apply for scholarships even if you’re not a freshman. It just may take a little more work and effort to complete your application packet. Most scholarship applications require letters of recommendation, transcripts and sometimes additional essays or explanations about why you deserve to win a scholarship over other applicants. Starting out early gives you more time to seek out letters of recommendation from your professors—and it helps ensure that those recommendations will actually be on file once you apply for a particular scholarship later in your college career.
When To Apply
The biggest thing you need to know about winning scholarships is that it’s a numbers game. If you want to win a $5,000 scholarship and apply for 100 of them, you have about a 1% chance. If you only apply for 10, however, your odds jump to nearly 15%. Keep applying and keep good notes! You’ll have plenty of time to develop multiple applications with different points of view. Not every scholarship is write an essay or submit an MP3 file. Find ones that ask for video submissions or an infographic that describes your passion in 3 minutes or less.
Building Your Skills
There are a few skills you’ll need to develop and demonstrate if you want to win scholarships. Most of these fall under an umbrella of leadership. Once again, leadership is not something that can be taught or learned in a class, but it’s certainly something that must be demonstrated through your own actions. As an example, you might find an organization on campus and volunteer to help out with fundraising efforts. Although your primary motivation is winning money for college, do what you can to make sure all of your efforts are being recognized by your peers; even if it’s not directly impacting someone’s opinion about scholarship awards, it will improve your visibility as a leader on campus.
In addition to grants and scholarships, some students also raise money for college by getting summer jobs or finding part-time work. But beware of working too much — experts say you should try to work no more than 20 hours a week when you’re in school. Otherwise, your grades may slip from lack of time to study and it may be harder to get into grad school if your GPA is low. If you’re not balancing work with enough sleep and downtime, experts say that can be just as detrimental for grades as working too many hours. When it comes to raising money for college, quality trumps quantity every time.
Government-supported Global Grants »
Fulbright Grants (USA)
The Fulbright Grant Program is the leader global trade grant program between the U.S. Government and 155 nations. Every year, roughly 1,800 Fulbright grants are granted to great unfamiliar understudies who wish to seek after a Bosses or PhD Degree in the US. The Fulbright Grant Program gives full financing to the term of the review which incorporates educational cost, course books, airfare, a living payment, and health care coverage.
Chevening Grants (UK)
The Chevening Grants is the leader worldwide grant program of the English Government. Consistently, it gives grants to around 1000 exceptional understudies from north of 130 nations who wish to seek after postgraduate concentrate in the UK. Chevening Grants are full grants which cover educational expenses, month to month payment and different oddball stipends as well as global travel to and from UK.
Australia Grants (Australia)
Australia Grants, previously known as Australian Advancement Grants (Promotions), give potential chances to individuals from agricultural nations, especially those nations situated in the Indo-Pacific district, to embrace full time undergrad or postgraduate review at taking part Australian colleges and Specialized and Further Training (TAFE) foundations.
Eiffel Greatness Grant Program (France)
The Eiffel Greatness Grant Program expects to draw in the best unfamiliar understudies for expert’s and PhD degree programs at taking part French Colleges. Eiffel grant holders get a month to month recompense; it doesn’t cover educational expenses. Furthermore, the grant covers different costs including return trip, health care coverage and social exercises.