Scholarships are typically awarded by schools and private organizations. Use the following tips to help you maximize your scholarship opportunities:

  1. Be involved in community service activities throughout high school. There are generally a number of community scholarships available.
  2. Create and maintain a success resume from freshman year through your senior year in high school. Capturing your accomplishments on an annual basis will help you prepare for scholarship applications and build your personal brand.
  3. Consult with your high school guidance counselor, especially for local and regional scholarship information. Some high schools may even assign a guidance counselor as a scholarship coordinator.
  4. When writing a scholarship essay, make sure you write it in your own voice. Also, make sure you use spell check and have someone else proofread your essay.
  5. Start applying during the beginning of your senior year or earlier. You will want to take advantage of scholarships with early application deadlines.
  6. Scholarship deadlines can vary. Develop a scholarship deadline spreadsheet to keep you organized and on time.
  7. Be mindful of the details! Carefully read the instructions and make sure your application is filled out correctly and you have included requested items. Some scholarships will request financial information to determine a candidate's need.
  8. Apply often as scholarships are constantly being added to databases. You can save time by tailoring an existing essay for multiple scholarship applications.
  9. If a scholarship interview is required, dress professionally. You will also want to make sure your social media accounts do not have any inappropriate content or pictures. You only have one chance to make a first impression.
  10. Continue to apply for upper-class scholarships during your freshman year in college. Even if you are turned down your freshman year, there are scholarships available for college sophomores and juniors.

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