Scholarship Applications

Have you applied to various scholarship programs, but just don’t seem to be lucky enough to win? You are not alone. The majority of students apply to handful of scholarships and then give up. Although you may not win every scholarship on your list, we’ll give you some helpful advice on how to spot a scholarship scam, tips for writing a winning essay, and how to put together a smart scholarship strategy that will move your applications from the trash can to the winner’s pile. Just remember one thing — you can’t win if you don’t apply!

scholarship organizer

Stay On Track With a Scholarship Application Organizer

When you start working on scholarship applications, you may find that it’s very easy to lose track of which programs you have already applied to and which ones you still need to complete. Many scholarship search tools provide a way for you to manage the scholarships within their own databases, but what happens if you use more than one resource to locate scholarships? It can be pretty time consuming jumping from website to website trying to figure out what’s next on your scholarship agenda. The best way to keep track of everything on your plate is to create a system to organize it all in one place. You could use the old-fashioned system of office folders, but I personally prefer using an Excel spreadsheet to ensure I never miss a scholarship deadline. If you’ve never created one before, don’t worry; it’s very simple. Just follow these steps and you’ll soon have your very own scholarship application organizer.

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scholarship essay tips

3 Ways NOT to Start a Scholarship Essay

If you ask students what they hate most about applying for scholarships, most of them will tell you that writing essays is the worst part (Well, that and not winning them, but that’s a topic for another post). And, it doesn’t matter if the essay requires 250 words or several thousand; most students would simply rather spend their time searching for ‘no essay’ scholarships than sit down and write another scholarship essay. Unfortunately, most scholarship providers aren’t willing to hand over free money for college without a little effort, and that’s where the essay comes into play. It not only gives providers more insight into your life, but it also helps them weed out potential candidates, especially when several have similar academic records. For those scholarship programs that don’t even consider your grade point average or financial need, the essay is the one thing that will set you apart from the other applicants. With so much riding on the line (no pun intended), it’s important to grab your reader’s attention immediately, which means you have  about two to five sentences to impress the committee or else your essay is headed to the ‘denied’ stack. If you want a shot at having your entire paper read, there are three things you should avoid using in the introductory paragraph of your essay.

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scholarship interview

How to Answer Common Scholarship Interview Questions

If you read my recent post, “5 Tips for Successful Scholarship Interviews,” you already have a good idea of what to expect during the scholarship selection process, including the common scholarship interview questions you might receive. But, do you know how to answer those questions? Some of them may seem rather simple, but your answers could ultimately make or break your chances of scoring the award. Remember, this is your one and only chance to impress the scholarship review board or committee chairperson, so you’ll need to have a game plan before entering the arena. But don’t worry — I have a few tips to help you ace some of the most frequently used scholarship interview questions. Here are five that you are likely to receive during most of your interviews.

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scholarship interviews

5 Tips for Successful Scholarship Interviews

Does the mere thought of participating in an interview send you into a cold sweat? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Many students get nervous when it comes to those face-to-face interactions, especially when there is significant college money on the line. I was fortunate enough to win most of my scholarships without suffering through a lengthy interview process, but a few of the more prestigious and substantial awards required my presence in front of not one, but several committee members. You would think that sitting in front of a panel of strangers would be more intimidating than speaking one-on-one, but I actually felt more at ease with the larger groups. Think about it. The odds are in your favor that at least one of the people interviewing you will like you. But regardless of how many people are in the room, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of having a successful scholarship interview.

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Undergraduate Scholarships

5 Tips for Locating Undergraduate Scholarships

Remember your senior year of high school? It seemed like there was a ton of scholarship opportunities everywhere you turned. Schools practically showered you with grants and scholarships, hoping you would choose them. But now that you have a year or two of college under your belt, some of those scholarships have expired or may have even renewed at a lower amount. If you were lucky enough to maintain the same funding level, the increase in tuition rates and other fees may still have left you with a gap in financial aid. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Many undergraduate students neglect to think long-term when it comes to their financial aid plan. The good news is that there are plenty of undergraduate scholarships available. You just need to know where to find them.

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