Creating a Successful Approach
We'll admit, applicants with stellar grades, achievements and qualificiations are awarded many of the scholarships. Just as teachers can instantly recognize poor essays, scholarship committees quickly recognize scholarship applications that are lacking. Students not meeting scholarship requirements are often not awarded scholarships, but this is not always the case, especially when there are few applicants, or when the scholarship application committee is considering other factors. Many students never apply for scholarships because they don't think they have a chance of earning one, but there are all kinds of scholarships, and there is no harm in applying. The more scholarships you apply for the better your chances of getting one.
Students who receive scholarships typically have:
- Satisfied all the scholarship requirements
- Been selective about the types of scholarships applied for and planned carefully when applying. It can be that easy.
There is nothing you can do to guarantee you'll receive a scholarship award, but there are strategies that can improve your chances of getting one. Students who have been successful at obtaining a scholarship all follow three simple strategies:
Make a list.
Collect information about every scholarship you qualify for. We don't recommend spending time applying for merit-based scholarships with minimum GPA, test score, or other requirements when your numbers fall outside specified requirements. There are numerous scholarships you qualify for, so focus on these applications. Review the scholarship list you've compiled and eliminate the scholarships that you don't qualify for. Assess each individual opportunity.
This process can be time consuming, but worth it. Once your list has been narrowed down, review each scholaship application for the following details:
- Deadline - What timeframe do you have to prepare and fill out applications?
- Difficulty of preparation - After reviewing deadlines, can you adequately prepare for the scholarship?
- Award amount - If you receive the award, how much of your tuition and other expenses will be covered?
It may seem like it's not worth applying scholarships offering small awards. However, college is very expensive, any scholarship award can lessen the financial burden of obtaining a college education. In many cases, scholarships offering small awards are not as competitive as full-tuition scholarships and your chances of obtaining one are greater.
Prioritize your opportunities.
After determining the best scholarship opportunities, develop a scholarship rating system. List the pros and cons of each potential scholarship. For example, if you meet all the requirements for a full-tuition scholarship that is months away from the application deadline, there would be few cons on your list. However, a scholarship only providing a minimal award that is only a few weeks away from the application deadline would probably have very few pros on your list. After rating each scholarship, you will have a better idea of what scholarships are worth your time and effort, and which are not.
Now that you've determined which scholarships worth pursuing and which are not, begin filling out application forms. Complete any requirements for the scholarships that are a fit and make sure to submit your application by the application deadline. Be confident and seek assistance if needed.