It’s finally November, which means it’s National Scholarship Month! Scholarships are free money, available for students of all ages to receive, to pay for their tuition, room, and board, and other college-related things. Current and future college students can apply for so many different scholarships. Even graduate students and high schoolers are eligible for some! Unlike student loans, college students will not have to pay back their scholarship award. College Raptor is here to help you make the most of National Scholarship Month.

How to Navigate National Scholarship Month

With so many scholarships available for students, it can be overwhelming trying to get started on the applications and essays. This type of financial assistance can be life-changing, so it’s important to start the application process early. You may find yourself procrastinating because of how stressful it seems, but with proper preparation and our help, you’ll be able to send plenty of applications this November.


We recommend navigating and applying for scholarships in 6 important steps:

Step 1: Always apply for FAFSA first.

Step 2: Find scholarships that interest you and that you are eligible for.

Step 3: Make note of the deadlines.

Step 4: Collect your recommendation letters.

Step 5: Write your scholarship essay.

Step 6: Submit your completed application on time!

Scholarship Search Engines Can Help

It’s important to first find college scholarship organizations, like College Raptor, to use because of the scholarship search tools available. College Raptor will show you the scholarships you’re eligible for so you can see which ones you can apply to. Once you know what you’re eligible for, it’s time to get started. We tell students to apply for 1 to 3 scholarships, multiple times a week. This may seem like a lot, but not every scholarship will require an essay and some essays are very short. You can even create a calendar system for your scholarship applications to keep track of what you want to apply for and when you need to finish them. Before you know it, you’ll end the month with over 50 scholarship applications sent in!

What Do Scholarships Pay for?

College scholarships can pay for a variety of things. Depending on the awarding organization, you may be asked to provide proof of use. Some scholarships can only be used for tuition while others can be used for your school supplies and even your rent!

Scholarship money can go directly to your college so the money is added to the account. This makes it easier for the organization to see that it wasn’t used for things unrelated to your education. Sometimes, you’ll get sent a check in the mail with your scholarship money and you’re free to use it on college costs, not just tuition! It’s important to read the fine print when applying for scholarships to ensure you’ll use the reward correctly and won’t have to give the money back because you used it wrong.

When to Apply for Scholarships

Since it is National Scholarship Month in November, we encourage students to apply for as many scholarships as they can. Fortunately, scholarships are available for students to apply for all year long so it won’t end in November. Scholarships can take a while for the committee to go through and reward students, so you’ll most likely see the money in the next 2 semesters. High school and college students should apply for scholarships every month, all year long, to ensure they get the most out of the free money available to them. Even high school juniors can apply for scholarships! Always send your applications in before the deadlines for consideration.

How to Win Scholarships

What do students have to do to win scholarships? That’s the golden question! Depending on what type of scholarship you apply for, there may be a way to increase your chances of winning. 

The first step is applying for the scholarships! This may seem silly but the scholarship won’t do you any good if you let the link sit on your computer without taking action. The second step is following the scholarship rules to a T. If they ask for at least 750 words in your essay, you need to meet that requirement. If the prompt is specific, don’t go off on a tangent in your essay and stray from the question. Scholarship applications are invalidated if you don’t follow the rules.

The third step is preparing for the essay or scholarship interview. There are a few common questions that are asked in these interviews and essays that you can take time to answer. You can rehearse your answers so you won’t feel as nervous and can stay truthful and sincere. If you do all three of these steps, your chances of winning the scholarship will increase!

Where to Apply for Scholarships

Although you can search for scholarships with any search engine online, there are scholarship organizations like College Raptor that make it much easier to find them. You won’t be eligible for every scholarship out there and weeding out the ones you can’t apply for can be difficult, especially if you’re on a time crunch. Use our scholarship search tool to find available scholarships for you that you’re eligible for! The rewards can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Every penny counts when it comes to paying for your education so make the search easier with College Raptor’s help. Here are some extra tips for finding great scholarships!


Every student should be applying for college scholarships. Some students think that because they don’t have the best GPA they won’t be able to receive any funding, which is far from the truth. When you apply for scholarships that aren’t based on merit, you have the same amount of chance as the other students. There are millions of dollars worth of scholarships out there for students to use and receive a free or discounted education. By using scholarships, you can drop the need for student loans or take out fewer loans than originally planned. This money is very helpful and we encourage everyone to apply throughout the year, not just in November!

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