Tips for Applying for Scholarships
Scholarships are a key part of your overall financial plan for college. The following suggestions will give you an edge as an applicant and help you stand out:
Jackson Jones (left) and William Bohnak (right) stand with Cuyahoga Falls football coach Mike Miller. Jones and Bohnak, who received $2,000 scholarships from the Black Tiger Gridiron Alumni Club, are a great example of students who sought scholarships that matched their interests and activities.
- Search for scholarships that match your unique interests and hobbies. Use a site such as FastWeb to find scholarships based on your club affiliations, academic accomplishments and more. You can also use a simple Google search to find scholarships geared toward your interests (ex: “4-H scholarships”).
- Take the time to write essays. Often, scholarships that require students to submit an essay have fewer applicants, meaning your chances of being selected are higher. It’s worth the extra effort.
- Avoid scams. Be wary of any site that charges a fee to search its database of scholarships or sign up. There are lots of free sites that have access to the same scholarships.
- Avoid online writing services. Students who use paid services to write or edit their scholarship essays are less likely to be chosen because schools will notice a marked difference between their application and essay. These services also do not show the scholarship administrator a genuine version of who you are.
- However, DO ask a friend or teacher to read your essay and application for any mistakes that you may have missed.
- When filling out paper applications, be sure to use neat, legible handwriting.
- Talk to your guidance counselor about scholarships available through the school that you might qualify for.
- Follow all instructions carefully and make sure you are submitting all the required parts (including letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc.).
- Stay organized and know the deadline for each scholarship you are applying for.
- Search locally – look for scholarships offered through area banks, schools, churches, clubs and businesses.
Also, be sure to check out our list of helpful resources for student scholarship seekers.