Student Life

Whip Your College Scholarship Search into Shape

Mary Bellm, Student Contributor

October 04, 2019

Whip Your College Scholarship Search into Shape
Looking for college scholarships and applying for them may seem daunting but, as long as you follow the requirements, it won’t be difficult.
It can seem very overwhelming to jump headfirst into the world of scholarships. Don’t worry - I can help! Hopefully, you already know that you need to start applying for college scholarships no matter what year in school you are, and to look for, and apply, early! If you haven’t made a profile on Fastweb, I’d recommend you do so, because Fastweb can then search for specific scholarship matches for you! How neat is that? As for your own scholarship hunt, let’s start with the basics: how to search for them.
Where to Begin Looking for College Scholarships
Lucky for you, Fastweb is the leading scholarship website out there! I’m sure you already knew that, but in case you didn’t, let me add that you can find internships though Fastweb, too! If you’re starting out fresh looking for scholarships, start by looking into reputable websites and scholarship search engines with Fastweb being one of the best! I can’t vouch for all of the other scholarships that scholarship websites (other than Fastweb) post, but searching everywhere will get you started in the right direction! You never have to worry about that on Fastweb, though. Learn more about why you never have to worry about scholarship legitimacy on Fastweb. If you find a scholarship online for the previous year, check and see if the company or website is offering it again this year! Additionally, check the reputation of the site or organization if you find a scholarship just by typing in “2019 scholarships” into a search engine. If the website has serious grammar issues, doesn’t have a list of previous winners, or contact information or just generally looks unprofessional, it might be better to move on and find a different scholarship.
Also, if they ask you to pay any amount of money to apply, don’t apply to it! That’s a scam, not a scholarship! Scholarship providers want to pay you, not the other way around. Learn more about scholarship scam red flags.
Types of College Scholarships
Most scholarships will have some sort of requirement attached - from year in school to GPA to major. If you already know your college major, great! You can narrow down your scholarship options that way and put what you’re learning or passionate about to use.
Don’t forget about the scholarships open to all majors, though! The general scholarships can be really helpful for those who don’t have a lot of time to hunt for ones that are major-specific, and you usually have less to do for them! If you haven’t figured out your major yet, don’t worry! There’s plenty of scholarships out there for any college or high school student. For those who are worrying about the amount of money you’ll get if you win scholarships: don’t discount the small ones! They could cover a semester of books or groceries. The scholarships that offer $100, $300, or even $500 compared to the coveted $1,000 or $2,000+ scholarships are definitely worth looking into. The smaller scholarships can add up, too, if you win more than one. If you invest some of your time into applying for those, you might end up with a lot more scholarships than you thought you’d end up with!
Applying for College Scholarships
As for applying for scholarships: be sure to save the application, if you’re able, just in case you need to reference it later on. Also, double check the format they want you to submit in. It could be an online form, a PDF, or an attachment via email - if you don’t submit in the right format, that could disqualify you! And we don’t want all of your hard work to go to waste. After finding the scholarship and checking the requirements, be sure you have all the necessary paperwork to submit ready to go! This can be transcripts, letters of recommendation, resumes, and proof of enrollment (for all of the college readers), and sometimes scholarships want something extra here, too, like an extra recommendation from a boss or something similar. Be sure you aren’t missing anything, and have the extra paperwork handy on your computer or a flash drive. It definitely helps to have it all in one place and ready to go when you need to submit! Last, but certainly not least, try to make your scholarship entry unique in some way. A story, an event you experienced, volunteer work at an important or local company or club, and humor are a few ways you could make your scholarship entry stand out to the judges. Often, it’s a different perspective or story that sells a scholarship entry to become a winner.
Organizing Your College Scholarship Search
Here’s a tip for managing all of the scholarships you’ll find: try making a list! I usually just write down the name of the scholarship, the link I can find it at, and its due date, but you could go a step further and organize them by due date. It’s also up to you if you want to do it on your computer or have a list written down on paper - whichever is easier for you to manage is what you should try!
Where Else Can I Find Scholarships?
It’s great to do a lot of online research for your scholarships, since there’s so many out there on different websites, but don’t forget to look local for a few more scholarships! Places like your local businesses, churches, fire and police departments, library, and more might have a scholarship or two up for grabs! These are often forgotten if you’re not in the know with scholarships or applying for them. Tip: if it’s a paper application, see if you can get an extra one, or copy the one you get in case you mess up when you fill it out. I may or may not have messed up my name, in pen, on a form… good thing I had a spare! All in all, looking for scholarships might seem like a big chore, but starting out in the right direction is guaranteed to help you as you hunt for scholarships! If you take anything away from this article, take away the following.
Key Takeaways
• Start looking for scholarships early
• Double check the requirements and due dates
• Keep track of the ones you apply and want to apply to
• Don’t limit looking to just online
• Find scholarships that are major-specific and general
• Make your scholarship unique in some way
• Look online and local for scholarships Looking for scholarships, and applying to them, can seem daunting, but as long as you follow the requirements, it won’t be at all difficult. I hope this helped you in your scholarship search!

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