How can I qualify for a scholarship?

Kathryn Knight Randolph

July 26, 2019

How can I qualify for a scholarship?
Learn more about what it takes to qualify for a scholarship.
You don’t have to have a perfect GPA to qualify for a scholarship. In fact, there are scholarships out there specifically for students with terrible GPAs. There are also scholarships for athletes, part-time employees and people with the last name Zolp. Essentially, there are many different characteristics or qualities that enable students to qualify for a scholarship. You just have to find the right ones for you.

How do I find out if I qualify for a scholarship?

The fastest – and easiest – way to learn which scholarships you qualify for is to fill out a profile on Fastweb. On the Fastweb profile, you can indicate your name and location as well as schools that interest you, extracurricular activities that you participate in and part-time jobs that you have. And that’s just the beginning.
To determine if you qualify for a scholarship, we also ask about personal information, like disabilities, heritages, ethnicity and religion. We’ll also ask for some details on your parents, such as their current and previous employers, military experience and associations. It may seem like a lot of private information to divulge, but we only ask to see if you qualify for a scholarship. Our database is filled with 1.5 million scholarships totaling over $3.4 billion; and once you’ve completed a profile on Fastweb, we scour our database to see which scholarships are perfect for you. You’ll receive a list of scholarships for which you qualify. All you have to do is apply. Basically, we take the search out of scholarship search, and find relevant opportunities for you. The best part is that it’s all free.

What if I don’t qualify for a scholarship?

First, you will definitely qualify for scholarship opportunities on Fastweb. There are many, many scholarships out there that have zero requirements to meet, meaning the only thing you need to do to fill out an application and qualify for a scholarship is to submit your name and contact information. With these types of scholarships, it doesn’t matter how bad your GPA is or whether you’re involved in any activities at school. You qualify! That being said, you should always read the scholarship requirements to ensure that you qualify for that particular scholarship. It is a big waste of your time, as well as the scholarship providers, if you fill out an application for a scholarship that you could not win because you don’t meet the requirements.

When it comes to increasing my changes of winning, how can I qualify for a scholarship?

The best thing you can do for your college and scholarship search is to maintain a great GPA, get involved in extracurriculars at school and start contributing in your community. Essentially, it takes a lot of doing – less sitting around and waiting for an opportunity to fall into your lap. If you’re struggling academically, reach out to your teachers or counselors to talk about tutoring opportunities. Consider taking SAT or ACT test prep courses in order to get the best standardized test score possible, which could consequentially help you qualify for a scholarship. If you’re not involved in an extracurricular activity or athletic team at school, think about joining a group or team that interests you – and if it doesn’t exist at your school, start one! Colleges and scholarship providers alike love to see students that take initiative outside of the classroom, balance their commitments and succeed in a team environment. The qualities and characteristics necessary to work well with others can help you qualify for a scholarship. Finally, take a step into the world outside of your school and home and give back. This can either happen two ways: by getting involved in a charitable organization or philanthropy or a part-time job. Both of these opportunities provide real world experience, which can go a long way in helping you to qualify for a scholarship.

What do I do after I qualify for a scholarship?

Apply! Apply! Apply! You should treat the college scholarship search like a part-time job. Commit an hour to applying to scholarships every day. Spend that time looking at your scholarship matches on Fastweb, filling out applications and preparing application essays or letters of recommendation. It’s easy to qualify for a scholarship that has no requirements, and it’s also easy to complete those applications. However, because of the ease, there will be many, many other students who go after the same opportunity, which actually decreases your chances of winning that particular award. Instead, apply for those scholarships that require a little extra work. Look for opportunities that ask for an essay, letter of recommendation, video application or interview. Those scholarships will have less applicants, which gives you a better chance of being successful. And if you’re dedicating time to your scholarship search on a daily or weekly basis, the amount of work required to apply to these scholarships won’t seem so overwhelming.

When can I qualify for a scholarship?

Many students wait until their junior or senior years of high school to begin the scholarship search, but students can start earlier than that. There are scholarship opportunities out there for high school freshmen and sophomores as well. Students can simply save their scholarship winnings to pay for college. Furthermore, students can qualify for a scholarship after high school as well. Many students believe that the scholarship search ends whenever they find a college, but that’s far from the truth. There are thousands of scholarships out there exclusively for college and graduate students. That’s why it’s vital to create a Fastweb profile early during your high school career and utilize it all the way through your higher education, whether that’s a college, graduate or doctoral degree. When you apply for scholarships, it’s important to have a strategy. To qualify for a scholarship, make sure you’re searching for opportunities that fit your academic performance, extracurricular involvement and community contributions. Make sure you’re investing in yourself so that you can be a marketable applicant, during both the scholarship and college search. Finally, remember that you can qualify for a scholarship at any point during your college search and higher education career. Don’t limit yourself – keep applying to scholarships to increase your chances of actually winning!

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Kathryn Knight Randolph

Associate Content Editor

Kathryn Knight Randolph is the Associate Content Editor at Fastweb. She has 17 years of higher education experience, working first as an Admissions Officer at DePauw University before joining Fastweb. In b...

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