Once you have determined which college scholarships you are going to apply for, it is time to get to work on creating a winning application! Here are a few steps that you are going to need to do!
First things first, you need to double check to make sure that you meet all of the scholarship requirements. This can include age, GPA, ACT score, and many more. I would absolutely hate for you to work your butt off on a scholarship application that you don’t qualify for.
Next, you need to determine what the scholarship committee needs you to send in. Usually this includes your transcript, ACT scores, a few letters of recommendation, a list of extracurricular activities, and a personal letter. I have created a bonus worksheet which you can find in the essentials area of this section to help you work through each of your scholarship applications in an organized way!
Next, you are going to need to fill in as many extracurricular activities as possible. Doing this really helps boost your scholarship applications. Committees want to know that you are not only a good student. but also a good citizen. In order to make this section easier to fill out on future applications, I would suggest that you keep a running list of things that you have volunteered for on your phone. This list should include the name of the group or organization, the dates you participated, and generally how long you were involved.
In order to have a winning application you are also going to need to do your best to keep your grades up. Unfortunately, many scholarships are heavily based on student’s GPA. Luckily, scholarship committees also like to look at the application packet as a whole not just your grades. So, if your grades aren’t the highest, you still have a chance of winning if you have put together a great application!
Next, you are going to need to take the time to create an excellent essay. Did the committee want you to answer specific questions? If so, make sure that you have fully answered those questions to the best of your ability and have not drifted off topic. You will also need to have multiple people review your application essay to check for grammatical and punctuation errors.
Finally, in order to win scholarships, you are going to have to hit the deadlines! Scholarship committees make it very clear that they will not look at applications submitted after their deadline. Because of this you will need to take the time to find and write down the deadline. If you have trouble finding this date, feel free to call and ask. You will also need to check whether the deadline is a “postmarked by" deadline or a "received by" deadline. If it is a "received by" deadline, be sure to send in your application packet at least a week early. In all honesty, you should aim for sending in scholarship applications at least two weeks early. This way, if your application packet is returned to sender you will have time to fix the problem and still get your application in on time! Believe it or not, this happened to me! Luckily, I was able to get it delivered in time!
I know that these tips are going to help you create a great scholarship application packet, and I really hope that you start seeing a few of those congratulations letters! Good luck! In our next lesson, I am going to be giving you a few tips on how to work through your first FAFSA!