How to: Applying for Scholarships

Student Editor: Andrea G.

Scholarships are by far the best way to fund your college education. But the reality is that scholarships are time consuming and competitive. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that the time spent on filling out a scholarship application is worth it. As education prices keep rising, a few hours a week to apply for a scholarship can make a difference in funding the career of your dreams. Consumer Jungle is dedicated to offering advice and helping students prepare for filling out those scholarship applications.

I know for a fact that when I was in high school, I knew about scholarships, but I did not know where to look for them. A great resource for any high school student is your counselor’s office. They receive hundreds of scholarship applications for various secondary education programs, and yet they’re such an underutilized resource! Don’t waste a precious resource, and visit your counselor’s office. They will also help you revise your essays, provide recommendation letters, and guide you through the process. Another great place to look for scholarships are online databases, like Fastweb.com (http://www.fastweb.com/), that allow you to create an online profile for free, and sends alerts about scholarships you qualify for straight to your email. Let the scholarships come to you!

Another great tip for high school students is that there is no such thing as looking for scholarships too early. In fact, it is unadvisable to wait until the spring of your Senior year to begin your search. Even if you don’t receive the scholarship the first time, if you can apply again the following year, scholarship committees will see your commitment to the scholarship and hopefully see growth and improvement in your application and essays. 

Next, keep track of deadlines. Scholarship materials make take time to collect, therefore it is best to begin early and keep a timeline in your to-do list or agenda. You want to take time to write your essays, proofread, give teachers or coaches time to write your recommendation letters, allow your transcripts to process, etc. Pursue even smaller, less competitive essay scholarships, because the money adds up quickly. Think of every scholarship missed as money taken away from your education fund. You never want to miss an opportunity!

Finally, the best advice I could give you is to make your scholarship essays personal and passionate. Allow the committee reading your essay the chance to get to know you, your values, and your background. They want to know your intentions and your motivations, so make every essay special and unique so that you stand out among hundreds of other applicants. 

We hope that with these tips, you are a step closer to pursuing your dreams of attending secondary education! We wish you the best of luck, and be sure to look for other articles regarding to secondary education on our website.