Tips for Scoring a Scholarship
Let’s get real. Post-secondary education is expensive and very few people have thousands of dollars casually lying around the house. Most of us are in search of cash — the type that you don’t have to pay back. In other words, we’re all searching for those illustrious scholarships. If you’re new at this whole “applying-for-scholarships-because-I-need-money-to-pay-for-school-which-suddenly-isn’t-free-anymore” thing, then you’ve come to the right place.
Here are seven helpful tips that could help you score some extra cash!
1. You do not get scholarships for simply existing. Almost every scholarship application that you come across is going to inquire about your extracurricular activities and community involvement. You need to do something, be a part of something, or participate in something. You don’t necessarily need to be the three-time reigning champion of every competition you compete in, or the newly-elected President for every fancy club that you’re a part of. You simply need to get out there and participate.
2. One of the hardest parts of getting free money is finding free money. Luckily, there are people who dedicate themselves to doing it for you! Make sure to check out websites like Scholarship Canada. They have information on hundreds of scholarships— both large and small. Also, take a glance at your school’s website. The majority of Guidance Councillors will actually post a list of scholarships that they’ve come across. But don’t stop there. Go the extra mile and go digging through the websites of other schools. You’re guaranteed to come across a fresh new list filled with new opportunities.
3. Keep your eye out for obscure scholarships offered by smaller organizations. This may require an advanced Google search and some serious digging but this very well might be the key to your first scholarship. Most students set their targets on big scholarships offered by well-known companies. There’s no harm in applying for those, but your chances quickly diminish when you’re facing so much competition. However, with the lesser-known scholarships that might be sitting on page 17 of a Google search, your chances of standing out in the significantly smaller crowd are far higher.
4. Your best bet to scoring a scholarship is to apply to as many as possible. This may sound frighteningly obvious but you would be surprised by how many people lay all of their eggs in one basket. Yes, it’s time-consuming and painstakingly tedious but you need to apply, apply, and apply some more!
5. If a scholarship application sounds too long, too boring, or too overwhelming, there’s a pretty good chance that other students are going to think the same thing and avoid it all together. This, of course, means that you should go ahead and do it! The more tedious the application is, the less competition you’re going to have. So suck it up and get writing!
6. Never lie. Don’t lie about your qualifications, achievements, activities, awards, or anything of the sort. Just don’t! If you get caught, you’ll suffer from third-degree embarrassment and, even worse, you may sever some really important connections.
7. Most organizations will release profiles of the previous year’s winner. Take a look at those to find out what kind of people they’re looking for. This might give you some ideas on what to include in your own application.