Did you forget to attend our Scholarship Twitter Chat on November 14 with Jodi Okun? No worries! We’ve put together some of the highlights from the evening in a quick, easy-to-digest format for you. Take a look at what you missed on #CollegeCash!
Today’s Question is: “How do you win scholarships?”
You did all the right things…you decided to search for scholarships, you found a bunch, and applied for several. But, how do people actually win scholarships? There is no magic answer, but there are some things you can do to increase your odds of winning a scholarship. In this short video, Ashley, our scholarship expert, will give you some tips on how to increase your chances of making it to the finalist’s pool.
If you are beginning your scholarship search, you have no doubt come across programs that require an application, a copy of your transcript, and one or more essays. These are common items for most scholarship programs, but many of the larger, more prestigious awards also require another document – the scholarship recommendation letter. Although similar to college admission recommendation letters, this additional component of your scholarship application can often play a vital part in moving your name from the rejection pile to the contenders’ list. With thousands of dollars often on the line, it’s not something that should be handled lightly; it takes some thought and a little planning to ensure you receive a recommendation that will stand out among the other applicants. If you want to secure a winning scholarship recommendation letter, consider the following tips.
Most students and parents know that scholarships are an important part of the college financial aid process, but few may really understand how they differ from other types of aid. Unlike grants, loans and work-study programs, scholarships can sometimes be a bit more complex and elusive. Students cannot simply complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and expect scholarship money to appear magically; it takes a bit more work and creativity to win those coveted awards. Just as every good journalism student knows to include the “who, what, when, where and why” in every article, so too should every college student understand the five W’s of scholarships. In this article, I’ll break down each “W” and give students the keys to finding and winning scholarships!
I have had the privilege to sit on several scholarship committees over the years, but lately it seems as though fewer students are actually reading the guidelines before they submit their applications. I don’t know if they believe that the winners are chosen at random or that no one is actually reading the essays, but after reviewing a recent stack of submissions, I’ve come to the conclusion that many students are simply too lazy to follow directions. Just like most things in life, scholarships come with rules. I know most students abhor them, but scholarship providers don’t simply give away money because students ask nicely for it; providers want to know that the investment they are making is a good one and that’s where scholarship guidelines play a part. If students are unwilling to spend the time needed to review the rules and submit a quality essay, they probably won’t be willing to go above and beyond in college, either. Although that may not be the case for all students, it’s the rationale used by many providers to weed out possible contenders. In general, three fatal flaws that continue to keep most students from reaching the coveted finalists pool.