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6 Steps for Your Scholarship Search

 

Applying for scholarships is huge among high school seniors who are looking to finance their college educations, but what about for us undergraduate students? They’re just as accessible and available, so read on for some tips to score your next scholarship!

1.      Scour the Internet: There are several scholarship engines that can match your profile to available scholarships. I use Fastweb.com, and I also recommend CollegeBoard.com, CollegeNet.com, Scholarships.com, and ScholarshipMonkey.com. For sites other than the CollegeBoard, I’d recommend creating a profile with just enough information about you to find good matches. Give yourself a fake name and maybe even create a separate email address to receive all scholarship notifications since there will be a LOT coming your way!

2.      Choose the right ones: You’ll soon find that there are a ton of scholarships out there, but not all of them might be the right ones. While you might be inclined to only look for the ones with the biggest monetary awards, also consider ones offering less money. These usually have less competition and require less work to apply (and are just as valuable especially if you accumulate quite a few!).

3.      It takes patience: Just like a job search, it takes effort to determine the best scholarships for you. It takes me quite a while to compile a list of scholarships that sound interesting to me, and then some more time to pick and choose from that list since I just don’t have the time or resources to apply to them all. As painful as that sounds, it’s so worth it when you land on a gold mine!

4.      Be smart with your applications: Make a timeline for yourself regarding the number of scholarships you want to apply for in a given amount of time. It’s also a great idea to reuse essays; the essay I use for most of my scholarship apps is actually one I wrote for college admissions—it makes my life so much easier when I’m applying to a bunch. Most scholarships are about leadership, so if you have something good written up already, consider working with that to save time!

5.      Find your support network: Lots of scholarships will ask for references, so have a few people in mind who you know can say a lot about you. I also find it helpful to have one or two people I can call up and talk to about scholarships I am applying for.

6.      Too many applications, too little time?: Pace yourself, and give yourself ample time to complete applications. It’s definitely overwhelming at times when you have both scholarship apps and all your other work to finish, but just set a target for yourself and work towards it.

 

Remember, the scholarships you win can go a long way both financially and for your resume J Good luck!

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