If you don’t have the money, the college may feel out of the question. Education seems like a luxury.
You don’t have to write off college yet. You can pay for college entirely by applying for scholarships.
Recent research shows people who go to college make $1 million dollars more than those who don’t. Kiss money anxiety goodbye.
I have outlined nine easy tips to make sure you receive university scholarships.
Take notes – your future self will definitely thank you.
9 Tips to Cash-in on Scholarships
Scholarships come in different shapes and sizes.
Some you might just have to submit a resume and call it a day. Other scholarships might include essays, letters of recommendation, or an interview.
1. Explore a Variety of University Scholarships
When you’re applying for scholarships don’t limit yourself. You don’t need a perfect GPA to win a scholarship.
In fact, there are tons of different types of scholarships. A few types are:
- Academic: scholarships that award individuals with academic excellence
- Service: awards individuals who have spent time giving back to their community through charity or civic projects
- Athletics: awards individuals who are highly trained in a certain sport
- Underrepresented Groups
- First Generation
How much do you love potatoes?
Interested in doing research on potatoes to help the industry? Well, there’s a scholarship for you too.
Your community is a giant network of people who can help you. Explore local business, foundations, and civic organizations.
2. Know Yourself
Each application you fill out has one purpose. Scholarship providers want to know about who you are. It’s essential that you can clearly state what you stand for and what you’re about.
Brainstorm things you care about and things you’ve done. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses.
Ask your friends, family, coworkers. Anyone who may offer an outside perspective of how you influenced the situation
3. Do Your Research
You can submit a thoughtful application without doing any research at all. But why walk in blind?
Think about researching a scholarship like you’re studying for an exam.
The more you research the scholarship and the sponsors the more prepared you will be.
Find out what the sponsor values. Check out previous winners. Sometimes winning scholarship essays will be posted online.
4. Find Your Angle
You won’t be the only one filling out an application. (Man, that would be easy.)
Think about it. Even small scholarships could receive up to 10 different applicants. A reviewer has to read 10 replies to the exact same essay question.
Let that sink in. You have to find some way to stand out against the crowd.
Take this example for instance.
A possible essay question might be Describe why want to go into teaching?
Most people might have the same reasons. I want to help people. I love kids.
Those are great reasons for teaching. But essays focused on obvious responses isn’t how to win scholarships.
Don’t fall into the “everyone says that” category. Spend time with your prompt. Reflect on stories you can tell with your specific experience. Or perhaps a goal you wish to achieve in your career.
5. Embrace Extensive Applications
Applications can be intense. Some applications feel like you’re applying for a house.
Don’t stray from the scholarship that will take a lot of work. There will be plenty of people who opt out of a lot of work.
Be one of the few people who complete the scholarship. There will be a smaller pool of applicants. You’re more likely to reap the benefits in this equation.
6. Satisfy Requirements
Ever order a pizza and they put all the wrong toppings on your pie? Totally disappointing right?
Treat your scholarship application as a prized pie a university
University scholarships request specific things in your application.
The time they spend highlighting application criteria is valuable. You should spend time reflecting on exactly what they are looking for.
The scholarship sponsor requests three samples of your writing. Don’t give them two or five. Give them three.
The application says the deadline is 5 o’clock. Don’t submit late!
One of the best scholarship essays I can pass along is to proofread. You may think of course I will. But somehow, someway, proofreading is the step we easily skip in a time crunch.
Scholarships are awarded to individuals who are driven and work hard. Show your attention to detail and read the instructions!
7. Fill Out As Many Scholarships As You Can – But Do It Well
The more scholarships you complete the better your chances.
To better manage your time create a schedule. Identify all the scholarships you want to apply for and their criteria.
You can keep a running list of what tasks you need to complete for each application.
Keep tabs on any professor you’ve reached out for letters of recommendation. They’re people too. You might need to respectfully remind them about your letter.
Set up a calendar for any application interviews and deadlines.
Organize your time and tasks. This way you can get as many scholarship applications submitted.
More submissions equal more possible rewards.
8. Maintain a Positive Outlook
You won’t win them all. Rejection might sting more for you than others.
Don’t get down when you’re not offered a scholarship. Putting in the time and effort may seem draining.
But any award monies helps you stay that much farther away from student debt.
9. Understand We Live in a Digital World
We can’t escape the power of social media. Be warned. Scholarship sponsors will check your social media profiles.
Your accounts don’t have to be “professional”. Just don’t have troubling or embarrassing content.
Word to the wise, post things you wouldn’t mind bringing up in an interview.
Speaking of interview… If you’re feeling uneasy about being interviewed see this post for more tips.
Being able to afford college is a huge stressor. It doesn’t have to be.
How do you get college scholarships? You spend the extra time writing essays you’re proud of. And you apply like hell.
At the end of the day be yourself. Your hard work will pay off. Maybe you’ll be a film director. Maybe even start your own law firm.
What encourages you to pursue a degree? Please feel free to comment and share your own scholarship journey.