Ten Things to Remember When Applying for Scholarships


Sign up for a FastWeb.com account

  • Check for new scholarship opportunities at least twice a week
  • Update profile at least once every three weeks
  • Read through the resources provided on applications to financial aid

Develop a commendable academic record

  • Maintain good grades, but you don't have to have a 4.0 to win scholarships
  • Study for SAT/ACT exams
  • Attend all your classes and participate actively

Be involved in school activities and community service

  • Join clubs and activities that you are passionate about and become an active participant
  • Assume leadership roles and exercise leadership skills in activities
  • Commit to helping your community by volunteering locally

Get started early

  • Begin applications as early as possible either online or on paper
  • Fill out a personal data form and give to teachers or counselors at least four weeks in advance for letters of recommendation and make sure to follow up on their progress
  • Request official or unofficial transcripts in advance if necessary

Set goals

  • Commit to applying for a certain number of scholarships and give yourself deadlines
  • Constantly update your goals
  • Don't hesitate to dream big and work towards achieving your goals

Diversify your scholarship portfolio

  • Apply for local and national scholarships
  • Check with your career center advisor for local and national scholarships weekly
  • Avoid only applying for large, national scholarships because several small scholarships can add up

Create a time line and constantly update it

  • List your top scholarships from your FastWeb results by deadline
  • Give yourself dates by which to finish essays, forms, teacher recommendations, etc.
  • Set up reminders (i.e. post-it notes, email notifications, calendar entries) so you don't forget any due dates

Tell your story effectively

  • Be genuine and honest in telling your story so that your essay portrays you accurately
  • Appeal to the judges and grab their attention
  • Know your audience (avoid slang and being too informal)

Make a copy of all applications and submitted documents for your personal file

  • Maintain a scholarship portfolio or file with copies of your applications
  • Use completed forms as templates for other scholarship applications
  • Reuse essays with similar prompts and questions by morphing it to fit the scholarship

Give 100% effort in applying for a scholarship

  • Ask teachers, parents, and peers to read over your essays and then edit and revise as needed
  • Fill in the application neatly and completely
  • Double check application information and correct any grammatical or spelling errors