It's true, after you receive your first scholarship award the sky becomes your limit. You've succeeded in gaining recognition and praise from someone other than a family member. Bonus cash aside, earning such recognition is an impressive achievement that should motivate you to continue achieving other great things throughout your life. Attending college is just the beginning. Once you're there you begin deciding who you will become by focusing on points of interest in your life. Having a passion for your interest will always put you head and shoulders above the rest in class, in your social life, and in your career.
If you are just looking for easy money, the truth is winning scholarships may be difficult to obtain. But if you are attempting to distinguish yourself from your peers, set a standard for excellence, and ease the financial burden of funding your education so that you can focus on your studies, you have a much better chance at succeeding. Before you begin your scholarship search remember that success is created, not found. Likewise, money is earned and, not surprisingly, typically follows success.
How to Create Success
Research the scholarship opportunities available to you. You should have a good idea about what your options are before you begin submitting scholarship applications. There are millions of scholarships available, but you won't qualify for all of them. Gathering information about your options should help you prioritize the offers in which you are interested.
Research should give you an idea of the criteria for the scholarships for which you qualify. If you fall short in any areas like community service or extracurricular activities, get involved while you have the chance, and establish a background in these areas. Additionally, build your writing skills. This is critical because most merit scholarships require that you respond to an essay question or submit a writing sample. Prepare a couple of solid essays on vanilla topics like your future goals or interests. These are good practice, and you might even be able to use them for some of the essay scholarships for which you are applying.
Many scholarships will require you to submit the following articles:
- Letters of recommendation from teachers or employers
- A small photo
- Cover letter
- History of community service
- School transcripts
- An essay
Have these items compiled ahead of time so that when you find a scholarship you are interested in you are prepared to apply for the scholarship as soon as possible.
Submit your portfolios to the scholarship providers in whose awards you are interested. If you choose to send your scholarship application by mail, be sure that the address is correct. Follow the guidelines, and be certain that you meet all of the criteria for a specific scholarship so that you don't waste your time.