This post is going to be very similar to this post: Tips for Applying for and Choosing your College!, with a few changes!
There are several different scholarships available out there for all different types of people and are awarded for all different reasons. There are ones for the college you will be attending, the major you plan to pursue, and even ones for your specific county! There are also general scholarships open to everyone, but those tend to get more applicants and are therefore harder to get. Scholarships can be awarded for Academic Achievement, Financial Need, and Merit Achievement, so choose the ones you feel are geared towards your strong suit! At my high school, we had a board outside of the counselors office with tons of scholarship opportunities posted on it. If you have this available to you, I highly recommend you take advantage of it! If you do not, it is really easy to do research and find several online! Also, if your school does not have an assembly to help with finding scholarships like mine did, ask your counselor! It is basically their whole job to help you with this process!
Here are some things to keep in mind to talk about:
Like I talked about when I was giving tips about applying for college, scholarship committees love to know your hobbies, especially the ones you are passionate about! They love to hear about the sports teams your on and the clubs your in; but let’s be honest: everyone does those things. You need to talk about a passion you have that makes you stand apart from everyone else. I mentioned this in my other post, but not talking about my blog in my scholarship applications is a big regret of mine. I am extremely passionate about my blog, but at the time I did not realize that discussing it in applications could benefit me. Scholarship committees love to see that there is something you are passionate about and committed to, especially when it relates to your future college plans, since they are contributing to them.
The scholarship committee is giving to you, so they love to know that you are giving back to others! Talking about all of your volunteer work is good, but if you have a significant time that changed your view of the world such as a mission trip or experience volunteering for a specific organization, talk about that one! Not only do they love to know you are giving back, but they also love to know that the work has made you a better person!
Leadership Positions/Awards/Major Achievements:
Like colleges, scholarship committees like to see that you are a leader and thrive at what you do and take a stand. Like I mentioned in my college application post, if you were in Student Government, an officer in a club, a team captain, or especially if you started a club- talk about it! Mention any awards you have received in your hobbies or schoolwork and talk about any accomplishments you are proud of! Showing that you are ambitious with your goals is a quality scholarship committees look for!
In my opinion, this is the most important subject to talk about. Most scholarships will probably require you to write an extended paragraph or so on your financial need. This may seem like an embarrassing subject to talk about, but do not try to make your situation sound better than it is. Talk about every financial issue you know your family experiences so that you can show how helpful the scholarship will be for you. Even the little things like working a job to help pay for your everyday expenses like gas and food that may seem like no big deal can be beneficial if you say you work to help provide for yourself and family. Mentioning things like the long hours your parents work and if you have to do something like take care of your siblings can also be beneficial! Whatever your situation is, tell it! Do not leave anything out! You need to show that you need this scholarship!
Any Hardship You’ve Been Through:
Similar to showing you financial need, this subject can also help show the scholarship committee how much their money will help you. If you have had a death in your immediate family, a parent with a long term illness, lost your home to a natural disaster, or anything else major that happened to damage your financial status- mention it! Also, if you have overcome a major illness or any other hardship you may have experienced- talk about it! It will help show that you are a hard worker and everything you have achieved will be even more impressive!
GPA, Tests, Class Ranking:
Do not let this section intimidate you. Like I said above, not all or even many scholarships are based on Academic Achievement, but if you are applying for full ride scholarships through your school, then they probably are. Just keep in mind when applying that the numbers on your transcript will come up and can be a very important aspect to some scholarships, so always try to get the best grades you can and remember that you can retake the ACT/SAT as many times as you need to to earn a score you are happy with. Also, remember that you will probably be able to report your superstore, so if you only need to bring up one subject’s score on the ACT, study extra hard for that subject and focus on it so your composite superstore will come up. If you do not know much about the ACT, this may be confusing so I recommend checking out this post Tips for Applying for and Choosing your College! where I elaborate on all things ACT/SAT!
If you are required to write an essay, try to make it personal! If you are given a list of topics or told to make your own, choose something you can relate to on a personal level so you are able to show who you are through your writing!
I am sharing this dress with you today because it is what I wore to a scholarship dinner. Some people were not very dressed up, but I feel that it is best to dress up for these events to show that you are grateful for the scholarship and also that you are professional.
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