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College Scholarship Tips & Advice

I’ve never met a student, or parent, who didn’t want free money to pay for college tuition. I remember being in high school and my mom sending me lists of different college scholarship opportunities. At the time, I didn’t really want to write essays and fill out forms, but I’m so grateful, now, that I trudged ahead.

While most Americans are in debt because of student loans, your student can enjoy college debt-free with the help of scholarship money. To get them there, they’ll need to be creative and determined in their efforts. Here are some tips on applying for and winning college scholarships.

Application Tips

You don’t get scholarships if you don’t apply. With a little research, you’ll find that there are hundreds of opportunities waiting out there for you. Many communities offer local scholarships, which is nice because that means there are fewer applicants than scholarships open to the nation.

You can find local scholarships by asking your guidance counselor, doing a quick Google search, checking community forums, asking people who have recently graduated, or by looking at different search sites.

When searching, don’t only look at scholarships with big awards. Apply for scholarships with small awards. Your chances of getting a smaller award are much greater than those with big awards because fewer applicants go for the smaller awards. If you apply for enough scholarships with smaller awards, you’ll surpass the large award scholarships anyway.

As you search for scholarships, go for the ones that require a lot of work. Yes, you read that right. The scholarships that require a lot of work—i.e. essays, videos, and projects—are often overlooked.

Essay Tips

When submitting an essay, there are some easy rules to follow that will enhance your chance of a scholarship award.

  • Don’t introduce yourself
  • Avoid quotes
  • Read the instructions thoroughly
  • Follow directions
  • Don’t repeat the prompt
  • Have someone proofread your essay
  • Submit your essay early—don’t wait until the due date

Following these tips will drastically increase your chances of winning scholarship awards! Don’t let the time required deter you. It’s worth it to take the time to apply for scholarships so you’re not spending years paying off student loan debt.