Here are my top 5 effective ways to get scholarships for college as a high school student.
If you are in high school, your parents may be pushing you to begin looking for extra money to pay for college. The realm of scholarships is large and confusing and some people find themselves overwhelmed and then give up applying. Here are my top five tips for getting scholarship money for school.
1. Identify what makes you unique and stand out
Think about unique factors about yourself that only you will have on your application.
Almost every high school in the country has a National Honor Society which means there are thousands of students who most likely are listing that on their college applications.
Use an activities resume to help you identify things that make you different from your peers. Haven’t made a resume yet? Use this worksheet to get started.
2. Know where to search for your scholarships
Firstly, here is a list of scholarship websites that you can use to begin searching.
After you do some looking for yourself reach out to your guidance counselor. Ask your high school guidance counselor about local scholarship offered to students in your state, city, or school district. These scholarships usually have fewer people applying to them which can increase your chances of getting money.
Scholarship listings are easy to have at your fingertips.You can easily search for scholarships on your phone with the “Scholly App” which was featured on the TV show Shark Tank. This app helps match you with scholarships that apply to the criteria you place in your personal profile.
Lastly, try googling “scholarships for _____” the blank can be Hispanic students, engineering majors, or photographers. Think of things that you love to do, organizations you are involved in, and other items that may have scholarships available.
3. Get your scholarship list organized
Once you start to search for scholarships you will need a way to get them organized so you are ready when it is time to apply.
I created a bookmark folder for every month of the year that synced between my computer and iPhone. When I found a scholarship that I wanted to apply to I added it to the folder for the month that the scholarship was due.
4. Have your scholarship application materials ready ahead of time
Scholarships ask for teacher recommendations, transcripts, and more. Make sure you have requested these items ahead of time and have multiple copies (digital and print) ready to mail or e-mail along with your applications.
You may need to purchase envelopes and stamps for scholarships that require you to mail in your application materials as well.
5. Work smarter, not harder on your scholarships
The key to scholarships is to apply as efficiently as possible so you do not feel like you are wasting your time.
When you complete scholarship applications, you do not have to write a new essay for each application. Try to recycle your essays to save you time and effort if the prompts are similar.
Keep a word file where you have your extracurriculars and awards available for you to look at; this can be in a resume or list form. This way you can just copy and paste the information into the application without typing it in each time.
If you want to learn more of my tips about scholarships watch the video below and check out my college admissions book, You Got Into Where, which has a chapter dedicated to Financial Aid & Scholarships.
I hope these tips help you in your scholarship process. Leave a comment on this blog post or in the video comments if you have any questions. Make sure you are following me on Instagram and Twitter @JoiKWade as well.