10 tips for winning a scholarship

If you are a senior in high school, hopefully you have already begun the process of finding and applying for scholarships.  If you are a junior in highschool, now is a great time to begin the process of researching scholarship opportunities.  Below are ten tips to help you win a scholarship.

  • Spend time researching potential scholarship opportunities.  There are multiple scholarship search engines on the internet, books providing list of scholarships (may be at your local library), books on how to win a scholarship, lists of scholarships available from your high school and many other sources.
  • Be sure the scholarship is a good match for you.   Research the scholarship to determine the focus of the scholarship, how many scholarships are given out, how many students can apply, and what is the focus on the scholarship (i.e. Volunteer Service).  I my research of scholarships, I have found many scholarships that are offered on a national level and less than 5 scholarships are offered.  This means that thousands of students are applying for this scholarship and only a handful will win – not very good odds.  However, if you have outstanding grades, have a high amount of volunteer service, and are willing to get help with your scholarship essay response – you should not shy away from applying for national scholarships.  Try to find scholarships which have a smaller pool of applicants (i.e. State, County, Local scholarships) or a scholarship provider that gives out a large number of scholarships.
  • Find students who have won scholarships and ask them what they did to win.
  • Seek out volunteer opportunities and record these on your scholarship application.
  • Seek out extra-curricular activities and record these on your scholarship application.
  • Always type your scholarship application.  Many scholarship applications are in a PDF format.  If you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat, you can type information into a PDF document.  If not find an electronic typewriter to use.
  • Use the forms provided by the scholarship application.  For example, the application may ask for a list of activities.   You should use the list that the application provides and DO NOT substitute your own form.   If you use your own form, some scholarship providers may grade against you for failing to follow instructions.
  • Many scholarship applications will limit the number of words that you can include on your response to the scholarship essay question.   DO NOT exceed the word count.
  • Spend a significant amount of time writing your response to the scholarship essay question.  Get help from a variety of sources to help you improve your essay response.  There are books (may have some at your local library) that have sample scholarship essays.
  • DO NOT send any documents that have not been requested by the scholarship application.  Some scholarship providers may grade against you for failing to follow directions. 

Mike Kaufmann

Outreach Director

(254) 297-7439