Myth: Scholarship Competition Is So Intense I’ll Never Win Anything

It’s hardly surprising that there is competition for scholarships. If you prioritize your financial aid, it is free money after all! A lot of students apply for scholarships to fund their college costs. Unfortunately the thought of competing with hundreds of other applicants acts as a deterrent to many students who decide it just not worth jumping into the fray, as they are not likely to win anything. This is a huge mistake. Here’s why:

Countless Scholarship Opportunities

There are thousands of scholarships out there and while some are intensely competitive, there are several other awards that are easier to win. The level of competition depends on the type of scholarships you are applying to. For example, athletic scholarships have a reputation for being extremely difficult to win. You have to be on top of your game to be considered.

But there are countless types of opportunities—scholarships for pursuing a certain major, scholarships based on religion, gender, orientation, ethnicity, hobbies, passions, talents, and more. You can use what makes you unique to find and win scholarships. Again, there are so many scholarships that are and aren’t based on your grades, or are based around niche hobbies. There are absolutely scholarships that you fit, you just have to find them.

Local Scholarships and Smaller Scholarships With Less Competition

The more well known a scholarship is, or the more money attached to it, the higher the competition will be. That’s just the way it is. However, make sure you don’t overlook a scholarship with smaller awards or a local scholarship—these often have far less competition and increase your odds of winning! You may win less money, but if you apply to a bunch of smaller scholarships and win, you still end up with a good sum. Not to mention, with less competition, you have a higher chance of winning. Even if you only win a few small scholarships, that’s better than nothing or having to take out more loans. Additionally, ask around to see if your town has any scholarships. Many local scholarships require students to be a resident of the town, which means there’s already less competition!

No origination fees or prepayment penalties

Fixed rates from 3.70% - 8.24% APR with auto-debit

Learn More

There’s Always Competition

You definitely cannot expect any scholarship opportunity to not have any competition at all. You will have to compete against the other applicants, but don’t let that intimidate you. Yes, some scholarships will have less competition, but the competition still exists. The secret to winning scholarship awards is to put in the effort to submit the best possible application you can, to every opportunity that you qualify for. And when we say qualify, we mean 100% qualify. Don’t apply to scholarships where you meet 4 out of the 5 requirements. You’re wasting your time and won’t be considered for the award, since there are plenty of students out there applying who do meet all the requirements. Focus your time on scholarships you know you have a chance of winning!

Use College Raptor’s free Student Loan Finder to compare lenders and interest rates side by side!


Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Citizens logo.
5.98%-16.48%* Variable
4.39%-15.46%* Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Sallie Mae logo.
5.37% - 15.70% Variable
4.15% - 15.49% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Credibe company logo.
5.37% - 16.85% Variable
4.04% - 16.69% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
5.98% - 13.74% Variable
3.99% - 12.61% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Ascent company logo.
5.99% - 15.85% Variable
3.79% - 15.41% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
6.54% - 11.08% Variable
3.70% - 8.24% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Earnest company logo.
5.62% - 16.85% Variable
4.17% - 16.49% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
6.00% - 14.22% Variable
4.50% - 14.22% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Raptor is not a loan lender and does not assume responsibility for suggesting a loan to a user who may not be eligible for it. Rates, terms, conditions, eligibility, approval, and other considerations are the decisions of the lenders and may vary depending on which lender or marketplace the user selects. We urge users to carefully consider and review all loan options and terms before committing to taking out a loan.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join thousands of students and parents learning about finding the right college, admissions secrets, scholarships, financial aid, and more.