Scholarship Best Practices

Follow these scholarship best practices to improve your chances of getting noticed by scholarship providers and, ultimately, win!

Elizabeth Hoyt

January 12, 2016

Scholarship Best Practices

With so many scholarships available, many students wonder why they aren’t winning. It’s true it isn’t easy to win a scholarship, however, there are some simple methods of approaching the process which can boost your scholarship applications, as well as your entire scholarship search.

Here are some scholarship best practices – what you can do to improve your chances of getting noticed by scholarship providers and, ultimately, win scholarships.

1. Updating Your Fastweb Profile

Updating your Fastweb profile is one of the easiet ways to boost the search process. By keeping your profile up to date, you’ll accurately be able to see all of the scholarships you qualify for in real time.

Make sure to add all new activities or any changes to your student information because even the smallest details can make a huge difference in qualifying for your listed scholarship options.

2. Maximize Searching on Your Own

There are a variety of ways to maximize the scholarship search process. There are plenty of resources on Fastweb, alone, to boost your search and find many different types of scholarships. You just have to know where to find them, which is where these tips come in handy, complete with links to each resource.

Some recommended places to start your search are:

2016 Scholarships

We’ve highlighted new scholarships this year to help you find awards as they renew and refresh. Check this article for new and exciting opportunities throughout the year.

Featured Scholarships

This section consists of simple scholarships, and is refreshed monthly with new opportunities to help you pay for school. Take advantage of these opportunities each and every month – they take very little effort and can really boost your chances of winning!

Your Fastweb Dashboard

Your scholarship matches appear under your personalized dashboard, complete with a potential value of all of the scholarships you qualify for, the number of scholarships that your profile matches to and upcoming scholarship deadlines so you’ll never miss out on an opportunity.

Browse Different Scholarship Themes

Here, different types of awards are highlighted based on the theme – including different majors, student types, seasonal awards and more. Explore these themes to find scholarships that suit you.

The Scholarship Directory

The Scholarship Directory sections out the most common scholarship categories. You can easily find new scholarships added within each category, as well as the largest awards within different scholarship categories as well.

3. Stay Organized

One of the best tips for your scholarship applications (and the search in general) is to keep it organized. It can be hard to keep track of different awards, dates and deadlines but it’s vital to remain diligent in the organization of your search, application submissions and staying on top of deadlines.

4. Keep Track of Your Scholarship Deadlines

It’s important to keep track of all of your scholarship deadlines so that you don’t miss out on great opportunities you qualify for. Utilize your list of deadlines, but it’s also a good idea to create your own scholarship calendar which keeps track of the deadlines of scholarships you’d like to apply for.

It’s always smart to apply before the deadline, too, just in case something happens with your application and you need to resubmit. As most students know all too well, waiting until the last minute can be frustrating when something goes awry and you never want all of your hard work to go to waste.

For example, when you wait until the last minute to prepare an essay assignment at school, what happens at midnight? The printer, which never had any issues up until that point, breaks. Learn from these experiences and plan ahead so you’re never in that position!

5. Apply for ALL Scholarships You Qualify for, Regardless of Award Amount

One of the most common issues students encounter within their scholarship search is limiting themselves by scholarship amount.

Small awards amounts add up, too, so apply for any and all scholarships you qualify for, even if the amount is smaller.

6. Keep (and Use) a Scholarship Calendar

Create a specific timeline that allows you to devote a set aside time to applying for scholarships. By doing this regularly, you’ll submit more applications than you would when just applying during down time. You should look at your scholarship search as if it’s like any other assignment or project that’s due – consider your due date on (or before) each deadline!

Remember, the more scholarships you apply for, the better your chances. Ultimately, scholarships are a numbers game. Always keep in mind that you should be using statistics to your advantage – think: applying for more awards equals more opportunities to win. When you apply for as many as possible, you’re using numbered odds to work for you.

7. Improving Your Scholarship Essays

This one is a no-brainer – or it should be. To put your best foot forward, work to improve your application essays. It’s also helpful to save your essays so that you can reuse essay parts that are applicable to other scholarships. That way, you won’t always have to start from scratch when crafting your essay.

Here are some scholarship essay resources to help you improve your application essay skills:

Handling Scholarship Essays

The Simplest Way to Write an Essay

Brainstorm Common Scholarship Essay Questions

Grammar Guide

7 Tips to Get Over Writer’s Block

• Winning Scholarship Essay Tips: Part I and Part II

8. Learn from Scholarship Winners

Did you know that Fastweb scholarship winners share their scholarship winning tips on the Wall of Fame? Spoiler alert: most of these winners have the same advice, which is to never stop applying and to apply for as many scholarships as possible. But, you don’t have to take our word for it, get advice straight from the horse’s mouth and check out their recommendations for yourself.

Never underestimate the value of learning from your peers, scholarship winners and from students who have been on both sides of the winning spectrum.

9. Take Advice

Take on all the scholarship winning advice out there – it can actually help you develop your winning strategies. Here are some more resources to help you boost your scholarship search:

7 C’s of Winning Scholarships

Let’s Talk Scholarships: Application Tips

Winning a Scholarship

What You Need to Know About Winning Scholarships

10. Don’t Give Up!

Unfortunately, it’s difficult at times to win a scholarship, and not everyone is guaranteed to win one. It’s vital that you never give up applying for scholarships – because then you’re guaranteed to never win one.

If you’re frustrated with your scholarship search, you’re not alone. Many students tirelessly apply – and keep applying even when they don’t win. Eventually, your hard work will pay off. That’s the ultimate secret to winning, if there is one at all.

Need money to pay for college?

Every semester, Fastweb helps thousands of students pay for school by matching them to scholarships, grants and awards for which they actually qualify. Sign up today to get started. You'll find scholarships like the Course Hero's $5,000 Scholarship, and easy to enter scholarships like Niche $1,000 October Scholarship.

You Might Also Like:


Join the Discussion