How to apply and earn scholarships – NextStudent
Finding and applying for scholarships can seem like a huge undertaking. Searching for opportunities on the Internet can drag on and potentially waste a lot of time. It’s easy to feel exhausted and lost in the process. Our goal is to save time and find more money for the students. With our scholarship strategy guide, you will be in a good position to find relevant scholarships. Along the way, I’ll also teach you how to use Google’s search functions and a little common sense to find (and earn) valuable scholarships.
Like most things in life, using a system will help you stay organized and make sure nothing goes through the cracks when searching for funds. It is very important to remember: scholarships are free money! This is money you won’t have to pay back. In some cases, scholarships are renewable or available again to eligible recipients each year if conditions are met. For example, college scholarships typically require maintaining a GPA above a certain score each year to continue receiving funds.
How the scholarships work
Sometimes scholarships are awarded on the basis of need. But most of the time, scholarships are awarded on the basis of ability, achievement or other personal and academic characteristics. Think about your own scenario and your life experiences. Do you participate in after-school programs or clubs? Do you belong to school or extracurricular organizations? Are you active in sports or maybe in the music scene? Are you a first generation student? Do you have any special talents or skills? What are you passionate about? What plans do you have to change the world? Be prepared to think and write openly about your ideas and plans.
Because scholarships can offset such a large portion of your educational investment, it is important to research the entities that award scholarships. These can include organizations such as: schools (universities and colleges), government agencies and offices, private companies and professional associations, religious and non-profit groups, academic organizations, etc.
Who wins scholarships
If you are already reading this guide, you are ahead of most people in the scholarship process. Right now, you’re investing time outside of school and work (maybe even your weekend) to look for money for a scholarship. Well done and well done to you. So who wins scholarships? Motivated, persevering and creative people win scholarships. But in order to win scholarships, two things must happen. First of all, you need to apply. The hardest part of a trip is the first step. Take the first step and apply for a scholarship. Second, you have to be competitive. Some scholarships, as I mentioned above, will have academic and quality requirements. But not at all. Part of your strategy will need to involve focusing on your particular strengths and accomplishments, whether in the classroom or not.
How to stand out
Scholarship funds are limited and therefore competitive. That said, not all scholarships will have committees, but most will have some sort of formal review process to assess applicants. To help you think through the process, put yourself in the shoes of a committee member. If you were to award thousands of dollars to a candidate, what would you be looking for? What would be the sign of a strong candidate versus a weaker candidate?
It might sound a little cheesy, but my advice here is to break the mold. What I mean is if there is a writing requirement, you have to write a interesting test. There is a concept in sales and marketing known as model disruption. A pattern interruption is when something manages to interrupt or disrupt our current train of thought. In other words, when we are performing an activity, such as reviewing applications, we tend to fall on mental autopilot. It would take something unexpected or unforeseen to get us out of this state of mind.
Yes; your grades are essential for college scholarships and for meeting other minimum requirements. Having strong GPA and SAT / ACT scores will be beneficial no matter what your circumstances are. the ACT brings some changes in 2020, such as partial retakes for domain tests.
That said, your experiences and activities outside of the classroom help you develop a more complete picture. If you don’t have GPA 4.0, don’t panic. You will still be eligible for many scholarships.
Work smarter, not harder (Google Magic)
I don’t pretend to be an expert on how Google works. But we can use some of their search operators to narrow down the search results to find specific scholarships to pursue.
We can start with the
"keyword" intitle:scholarship tower. The goal here is to replace “keyword” with a scholarship category, such as: “psychology” and include
intitle:scholarship to retrieve results that have both “psychology” on the page and “scholarship” in the title of a web page. Here is an example of a search query to copy and paste into the Google search bar:
Now, let’s take it a step further… and use the following operators to search for keyword specific exchanges on certain types of website domains (like .edu, .org, .gov, etc.). It’s a powerful way to filter content and resources from different types of organizations. For example, if you are looking for a specific type of scholarship (e.g. military) offered by universities, you can use the following search structure:
military scholarships site:edu
Alternatively, I might even search for economical scholarships offered by government organizations. For example,
economics scholarships site:gov. And I can search multiple types of sites by combining an OR function with them:
history major scholarships (site:edu OR site:org)
Another tip on finding resources. Consider the file types. Many universities and organizations upload .pdf and .doc files to their sites when they share information and links with others. Using the
filetype: operator in your search, you may find interesting scholarships that have been hidden in documents or hidden from other normal Google searches. Here’s an example that builds on something we learned earlier:
robotics scholarhips filetype:pdf site:org
Types of scholarships
The types of scholarships vary widely. Use it to your advantage when planning your applications. Here are some very broad categories:
- Specific Major
- Ethnicity / Origin
- Public Service
- Gender specific
- First generation
- Random / staggered
Check out our resource at no trial grants, but be sure to research the programs. Not all scholarships require an essay writing.
A numbers game
There is a balance in the demand for scholarships. But an obvious principle is to apply for as many scholarships as possible. Some scholarships are worth $ 500 and others more than $ 50,000. So invest your time accordingly. But remember, even small wins add up over time. Don’t be discouraged if you lose a few. The more you apply, the better your chances of winning. Keep in mind that many people are unaware of these scholarships let alone take the time and diligence to apply. Use this as motivation to continue the scholarship journey.
Use a calendar app or SMS reminder service to stay on top of upcoming deadlines. There is nothing worse than working on a scholarship application or an essay only to find that the deadline has passed.
Details, Details, Details
Before submitting your request for ALL scholarship, regardless of size, make sure the application (and material) is error-free and professional. It would be a shame to invest so much time in having an embarrassing typo or forgetting to include a transcript or letter of recommendation. Double check before clicking “Send” or drop it in the mailbox.