How to Win Scholarships in the US

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If winning a scholarship is what’s standing between you are your college degree, your big business idea or your big dream, this post is for you.

Here are our top 5 tips on winning scholarships in the US.

1. Be Willing to Put in the Work

Many college applicants shy away from scholarship applications that require them to write an essay. Mistake.

Writing a passionate essay increases your chances of getting a scholarship (because fewer candidates are applying) and gives you the chance to prove you’re worth your salt.

Doesn’t this sound like a fun essay to write?  “Discuss a special attribute or accomplishment that sets you apart”.  We found this on the Nancy Etz Scholarship Application.

And while we’re on the subject of essays, make sure you stick to the word-limit (as closely as possible).  For example, the Nancy Etz essay is only 500-words so don’t deliver a 1000-word essay.

And, whatever you do, please make sure you proofread (or have someone proofread) your essay before you send it out.  Grammarly is an excellent tool for this.

If winning a scholarship is what's standing between you are your college degree, your big business idea or your big dream, this post is for you. #ScholarshipsintheUS #howtowinscholarships 2. Volunteer

Become an upstanding member of your community, School or College.  Get involved.  Give Back.  Make a difference.  Make an impact.

Find that special something that you can stand for that sets you apart from the rest of the applicants.

Scholarships usually come from non-profits who make it their mission to help people so it makes a whole lot of sense to build up a personal profile they can admire and respect.

3.  Be Aware of Your Online Reputation 

Online reputation management has become one of the keys to success in job applications and it’s just as important when you’re applying for scholarships to college.

Do you have a personal website or LinkedIn profile that serves as your online CV?  What do you post on social media?

Scroll through your latest posts as if you were the person who would be granting you a scholarship.

Would you choose you based on how you’re showing up online?

Google yourself and see what comes up and if you don’t like it, start working on changing that.

4. a) Apply to All

Go local AND go national (or international if you live out of the US).  Try for every scholarship you can find that speaks to your knowledge and experience.

Apply for full scholarships and smaller scholarships and take whatever you can get.

Join or subscribe to websites like Fastweb, CollegeNet, FinAid, Kaarme, ScholarshipMonkey, College Board, College Data and so you can access as many scholarships as possible.

Find the best scholarship websites here.


4. b.) Niche Down

Or you can disregard everything we’ve just said and only apply for the scholarships that really interest you.  Become as picky as you like and get really passionate about your application.

5. Give it All You’ve Got

Whether you’re going for one application or money, it’s your PASSION and PERSONALITY that’s going to win the day.

Be who you are and give it your everything.

Oh, and while we’re mentioning passion and personality, punctuality is important too.  Make sure you submit your application as early as possible to give yourself the best possible chance of being accepted.

Winning a scholarship can be life-changing.  Treat your application for a scholarship as the most important thing you’ve done in your life-to-date and you could be reaping the rewards for a lifetime.

This post was sponsored by Nancy Etz Scholarship. All opinions are my own.

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About Lauren Kinghorn

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