It’s time to be looking for scholarships, and you may be wondering, what’s the limit? How many scholarships can one person really get? There is actually no limit! So how many scholarships should you apply for? What kinds of scholarships should you look at?
How Many Scholarships Can You Actually Get?
There is no limit to how many scholarships you can get! You’ll only win the ones you apply to though, so the true limit is how many you can apply for.
So How Many Scholarships Should You Apply For?
The short answer is that you should apply to as many as you can, as early as you can. This means that you need to be looking early and finding out when deadlines are. But remember, you don’t want to make a career out of scholarship searching and application. Leave yourself enough time for fun in addition to your schoolwork. You can’t put “excellent at applying for scholarships” on a resume.
It’s also important to give every single application enough attention. Rushing through as many as you can get through, even if you qualify, will definitely hurt your chances. You could easily miss necessary documents required to apply, or your essay may be lacking if it’s obvious it was a rush job.
How Can You Increase Your Chances of Winning?
While you can absolutely attempt to apply to every scholarship you come across, that doesn’t mean you should. There will be a number you don’t even qualify for or don’t meet the program’s idea of an “ideal candidate.” Filling out the application in these cases will just be a waste of time. Instead, you will want to search for scholarships that actually fit you and where you have a chance of winning.
So what should you look for?
Look For Awards That Fit “You”
As mentioned just above, you need to find scholarships you actually qualify for. There are several awards out there that are looking for the bare minimum when it comes to qualifications. Consider your location, your future location when you’re attending college, your financial need, GPA, and skills. There will be scholarships solely based on financial need, merit, location, and skills such as leadership. Others will be granted by the state or your community.
Find Scholarships That Fit your Interests
There are a number of scholarships that are dedicated to student interests. Whether you enjoy sports or are planning to go into architecture, there are scholarships out there! You can also find awards for musical talent, niche extracurriculars, and more.
If you are undecided on what your major will be, that’s okay! There are plenty of open scholarships that are not limited by major or career path.
Talk to Your College
If you know exactly where you are going to college, then you should look into the scholarships that are offered by your school. Many schools have scholarships specific for incoming freshmen. Others go by major, intended career path, demographic background, military benefits, and more.
Complete Your FAFSA
Did you know that many colleges and programs use FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, to help determine your eligibility for scholarships and grants? Completing the FAFSA, for example, is necessary for the Gates Scholarship as winners receive the amount needed to attend college after financial aid is granted. Even if you don’t think you qualify for any assistance from the government, you never know what your college or other programs will offer you.
How Can You Find Scholarships?
Finding scholarships can seem tough at first, but it’s really quite easy when you know where to look.
Join Scholarship Databases
One of the easiest ways to discover scholarships that fit you and you have a good chance of winning is by taking advantage of scholarship search tools and databases. These allow you to input information about yourself, your goals, your interests, your needs, and your accomplishments. The database will then return with scholarships that fit your qualifications. And if new scholarships pop up, you will receive an email notifying you.
Look in Your Community
Another great place to look is within your community. Your high school guidance counselor probably has a list of available scholarships for graduating seniors. Applying for local awards—however small or large they might be—is also great practice for applying to scholarships with a larger pool of applicants.
Keep Applying Even After You Graduated High School
Did you know that scholarships aren’t only for graduating seniors? There are plenty of awards out there dedicated to current college students, graduates, international students, and transfer students. There are also rewards if you’ve taken a break from school and are planning to return. It’s a common misconception that only high school students are eligible!
When applying for scholarships, it’s important to remember that you need to craft each application carefully. Award judges don’t like generic essays that could work for any number of scholarships. Focus on what the application is asking for. Give it your best effort. And remember, there are scholarships for you out there!
Struggling to find scholarships? Our Scholarship Search Tool allows you to quickly identify awards you’re eligible for.