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What You Need to Know About Winning Scholarships

Find out what you need to know about winning scholarships -- you can do it!

Kathryn Knight Randolph

August 15, 2016

What You Need to Know About Winning Scholarships
By now, you know that winning scholarships is hard, like really hard. You feel like you’ve applied for countless scholarships with zero results, and you’ve nearly given up on winning anything along with your dream of going to or finishing college. So what can you do? If you haven’t heard this already, you’re hearing it now: winning scholarships is a numbers game, and the more you apply, the better your chance of actually winning. Essentially, if you want to win a scholarship giving up is not an option; no matter how tired, frustrated or rejected you feel because of the process.

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So get up off of the floor, quit wringing your hair in despair and follow this advice for persistence in your scholarship search. Be honest with yourself: how many scholarships have you really applied to – a couple, five, 10? Those numbers aren’t going to cut it. If paying for school with scholarships and financial aid is really so important to you, then devote more time to your applications. If you’ve been applying to one scholarship a month, that’s not enough. Spend a half hour every day on applications or a few hours a week; whatever works best for your schedule. Are you exhausting all of your scholarship search options? If you log onto Fastweb and merely look at your scholarship matches, that’s doing nothing to help you win a scholarship. Look at all of your scholarships and mark those that interest you as “Might Apply” or “Will Apply” and actually apply for them. Visit the site frequently too -- don't wait months to log back on.

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Get started now. Apply for scholarships. Also, reach out to your high school guidance counselor once a month and ask him or her about community scholarships. Scour your local newspaper for scholarship opportunities, and don’t shy away from entering contests, sweepstakes or promotions with a dollar prize. You can use that money for school too!

When you see a scholarship for $500, do you skip over it and look at the scholarship for $10,000 instead? Here’s a little secret: scholarships with a smaller award amount don’t get the same volume of applications as a $10,000 scholarship, meaning your odds are better. So don’t skim over the small amounts – that’s $500 less you have to pay for college, right? And if you win several $500 scholarships, that can really add up.

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The scholarship search isn’t over once you set foot on your college campus. There are thousands of scholarship opportunities for college students, whether you’re a college freshman, a junior studying abroad or starting your final year. While in college, devote just as much time to your scholarship search as you did when you were a high school senior, i.e. a few hours a week. It’s understandable to be frustrated with the process – it’s tedious, never-ending and more often than not, disappointing. But that’s when you have to shake it off and try, try again. Good luck, Fastwebbers!

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