How to Get College Scholarships in 2021 (+ mistakes to avoid)



Entering into faculty is under no circumstances a simple feat. From the prolonged utility course of to entrance exams, it may be tough. 

Then there’s truly paying for school which, at instances, can appear not possible. However I’m right here to let you know the right way to get faculty scholarships and it’s not practically as tough as you would possibly assume. The truth is, actually billions of {dollars} in scholarships go unpaid yearly just because nobody applies for them.

Billions. With a “B.”

And a slice of it may be all yours to assist pay for school.

That will help you, this text will define the precise technique I used to recover from $100,000 in scholarship funds

What sorts of scholarships can be found?

It may be simple to assume there aren’t any faculty scholarships out there for you should you’re not an athlete, a genius, or a baby prodigy.

That’s simply not true.

There are millions of untapped scholarships — including as much as billions of {dollars} — that go unclaimed yearly. The cash is on the market. You simply should know the place to look. The following part will start to open your eyes to the scholarships that is likely to be out there to you.

Learn how to discover scholarships that can pay hundreds (and no one applies for)

When you’re a highschool pupil, you’ve got a whole lot of scholarship assets out there to you. They are often damaged up into 5 areas:

  1. Highschool profession facilities
  2. Library and bookstore
  3. Scholarship search websites
  4. Ethnic organizations
  5. Family and friends

With these assets, you’ll be capable to earn hundreds of {dollars} in scholarship cash. Right here’s how:

Tapping into highschool profession facilities

First, go to your highschool profession heart. In case your highschool doesn’t have a profession heart, your college’s counselor will help you discover comparable assets on-line or in your local people. Most highschool profession facilities hold an up to date listing of scholarships sorted by date. Undergo this listing and make be aware of each single scholarship that applies to you. Even should you assume it might be a stretch, write it down. You by no means know what is going to repay later.

You must actually be writing down the next info for each — you’ll want it if you truly begin the applying course of. I recommend you write down:

  • the scholarship title
  • the quantity it’s value
  • a due date
  • whether or not or not you’ve utilized but

Do that in a Google or Excel spreadsheet so you possibly can simply search, filter, and replace from any system later. 

Whenever you’re making use of for dozens (or tons of) of scholarships, it’s going to be vital that you simply keep organized so that you don’t burn out. In fact, you may be as detailed as you need along with your spreadsheet and embody issues like GPA necessities and whether or not or not you want an essay.

Professional tip: faucet into different colleges

When you’ve exhausted your college’s listing of scholarships, name up different excessive colleges and ask them should you can go in and speak to them about what scholarships would possibly apply to you. That’s proper. I would like you to name up different excessive colleges in your metropolis to see what scholarships they’ve. They’ll truly LOVE this as a result of no excessive schooler ever goes out of their method to get scholarships. When you present just a bit little bit of initiative in your instructional future, most advisors shall be more than pleased that will help you out. Do the very same factor you probably did along with your college’s scholarship assets and report all those related to you. 

Once I was in highschool, I ended up making use of for 60 scholarships from my highschool’s profession heart — and earned hundreds for school within the course of.

Leveraging library and bookstore scholarship assets

When you’re completed exhausting the entire scholarships out of your highschool (and different colleges), head to a bookstore or library and choose up the most recent copy of an annual scholarship reference ebook. You’ll additionally discover these on Amazon, however it’s cheaper to borrow a duplicate from the library. In case your library doesn’t have a duplicate, or solely has outdated copies (Scholarships from 1977? What?), this is among the greatest investments you can also make in your short- and long-term future. These scholarship books are complete catalogs of grants and scholarships you possibly can earn as a highschool pupil. They’re FANTASTIC assets should you’re trying to discover money for school. Right here’s a listing of some good scholarship books to search for:

  1. The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2021 by Gen Tanabe and Kelly Tanabe
  2. Peterson’s Scholarships, Grants & Prizes 2021
  3. Tempo Scholarship Academy’s Ultimate National Scholarship Book

I’ve included the Amazon hyperlinks right here so you possibly can test them out — however I extremely recommend buying these at your native bookstore (or higher but, discovering them on the Library) so you will get began ASAP! When you get the ebook, do what you probably did along with your highschool’s scholarship assets and make be aware of all of the scholarships you’d like to use for. The aim at this level is to maintain including to that lengthy listing. Not the entire scholarships you write down shall be a very good match, however the concept is to assemble an enormous concept listing earlier than you begin making use of.

Looking out faculty scholarship websites

When you’ve discovered all of the scholarships you possibly can via the aforementioned assets, you possibly can flip to totally different search engines like google and yahoo and web sites that may provide help to discover scholarships. Professional-tip: You is likely to be tempted to begin with the web first. However guess what: so is everybody else. Meaning the easiest-to-find scholarships on the internet would be the best. That’s why we suggest profession facilities and books first. Many scholarship websites embody options that mean you can seek for particular standards like:

  • College-specific scholarships
  • Curiosity-specific scholarships
  • Demographic-specific scholarships
  • GPA necessities
  • Essay necessities
  • And plenty extra.

You’ll be able to even arrange electronic mail alerts (which I extremely suggest) so that you’re mechanically notified when the websites discover scholarships that suit your particular wants too. Listed below are just a few ideas for nice websites that will help you search for scholarships:

Bonus: Turning into an amazing pupil is all about constructing good habits. If you wish to discover ways to construct good habits and break unhealthy ones, obtain my free Ultimate Guide to Habits

Getting an ethnic group scholarship

Ethnic organizations of all stripes have a tendency to supply scholarships. These will help you earn tons of — if not hundreds — in scholarship cash. Many of those are ethnicity-based, which means that you simply’ll should be a sure race or background with a purpose to qualify for the scholarship. Just a few ideas:

In fact, merely becoming the racial standards for ethnicity-based scholarships isn’t sufficient. You’re going to should knock the applying out of the park (extra on that later).

Discovering scholarships via family and friends

Discuss to your pals, dad and mom, and fogeys’ buddies to see in the event that they know of any scholarships. There are a whole lot of firms that provide faculty scholarships — firms that the folks you realize work at. So ask round! A number of the greatest scholarships come from among the most sudden locations. Once I was making use of for scholarships, my sister was working at Kaiser — which provided a university scholarship to relations of Kaiser workers. My mother is a trainer and she or he knew a few scholarship provided via the California Lecturers Union. These are scholarships barely anybody applies to as a result of many excessive schoolers merely don’t know to ask about them and the eligibility pool is comparatively small. So if you DO discover out about one, you mechanically have a bonus over everybody else. When you really feel odd about it, know that each individual desires to assist out a excessive schooler. They gained’t assume it’s “bizarre.” The truth is, they’ll discover it admirable that you simply’re working onerous to safe your future and reach faculty.

Bonus:Turning into an amazing pupil is all about constructing good habits. If you wish to discover ways to construct good habits and break unhealthy ones, obtain my FREE Final Information to Habits

Is it actually value it to pursue scholarships?

Whenever you take a look at all of the choices and work it’ll take to really earn a university scholarship, it may be simple to ask:

Is that this even value it?

Particularly if you’re busy along with your senior yr of highschool. Buddies, golf equipment, groups, hobbies, AP courses, and much extra can replenish your schedule and make you assume studying the right way to get scholarships simply can’t make its method onto your schedule.

However contemplate this:

When you DON’T get a scholarship, you’ll be compelled to pay for school by yourself. Meaning working tons of hours throughout faculty.

Much less time to review. Much less time to this point. Much less time to benefit from the faculty scene. Since you’ll be working.

Life in faculty doesn’t decelerate — it hastens. And also you’re setting your self as much as miss all of it should you don’t discover ways to get a scholarship and apply for as many as potential. 

Don’t overlook: I secured over $100,000 in faculty scholarships. The typical U.S. wage is round $30,000. 

So simply ask your self this: Are just a few late nights filling out scholarship functions or lacking a soccer sport right here or there value THREE YEARS of labor?

As I see it, the reply is an apparent “YES.” 

With that in thoughts, let’s dive into how one can pull this off with out burning out.

Why & the right way to apply to every part (with out burning out)

From right here, the technique is easy: It’s time to use to ALL of them. This would possibly seem to be an extremely daunting job. In any case, these functions typically require you to do two issues:

  1. Ship a letter of advice
  2. Write an essay (or just a few brief ones)

Nevertheless, there’s a neater method to go in regards to the course of that doesn’t contain writing 60+ distinctive essays. Don’t get me incorrect: Every scholarship utility goes to take time and a little bit of nuance with a purpose to create a compelling case for you that’ll have the reader clamoring to provide the scholarship cash. However you can also make the method much more efficient and easy should you simply take a look at the letters of advice and essays.

Learn how to truly land a university scholarship

Getting a university scholarship (or ideally a number of scholarships) is a numbers sport, sure. Nevertheless it’s additionally greater than that. 

So as to truly LAND some scholarships and put cash within the financial institution, you’ll must get sensible about your technique.

On the basis of this technique are two issues:

  • Highly effective letters of advice
  • Strategically distinctive essay solutions

Getting highly effective letters of advice

Most highschool college students are afraid to ask for letters of advice. It’s a little bit bit awkward to ask a trainer or different trusted grownup to put in writing a glowing advice for you. HOWEVER, should you have been a very good pupil and established a very good relationship along with your academics, they’ll be more than pleased that will help you out along with your letter of advice. Most college students by no means do that so that they’d be completely satisfied to assist. You’re going to wish to method it the identical method I method asking for a testimonial: politely and with the vast majority of the work finished already. Whenever you attain out to your trainer for a letter of advice, you’ll wish to give them a number of issues:

  • A broad view of what you need them to focus on
  • 2-3 key factors they need to contact on (possibly it’s one thing particular to the scholarship?)
  • Your resume so that they have a reference to your accomplishments

When you present them virtually every part they want, they’ll be more than pleased to provide you an superior letter of advice. The truth is, many academics will simply ask you to put in writing a draft that they will edit and signal. 

Write strategically distinctive faculty scholarship essays

On the subject of writing a tremendous scholarship essay, I’ve developed a extremely advanced intricate technique of algorithms and programs that it’s good to comply with EXACTLY if you need your writing to soar. The steps are:

  1. Work out what most college students will write about
  2. Write one thing else

…and that’s it. Why does this work? Most scholarship essays bore judges to tears. Put your self within the footwear of the one who shall be studying your utility — they’re going to be studying tons of, possibly even THOUSANDS of those a day. And the very fact of the matter is 99.99999% of the functions they learn shall be nearly precisely the identical. 

Oh, you bought good grades? You have been in a bunch of extracurriculars? That mission journey you took to Honduras junior yr was “life-changing”? 

Get in line. 

What’s notably distinctive about any of these issues? Not an entire lot. And should you fall into the identical system as everybody else, I assure you your utility gained’t get a second look. Nevertheless, should you subvert the expectations of the scholarship choose, you’ll seize and maintain onto their consideration — permitting you to correctly make your case. To do this, it’s good to comply with the aforementioned two steps.

First: Work out what different college students will write about

You’re sitting down at your laptop computer, the scholarship essay immediate is in entrance of you, and also you’re able to dive in. Earlier than you write a single phrase … STOP! 

Take into consideration the opposite folks making use of for the very same scholarship — what are THEY going to be writing about? What’s the simple reply to the immediate … and how will you subvert that? Again after I was making use of, I had one essay immediate that requested, “When you may have dinner with anybody, dwelling or useless, who would it not be and why?” Basic immediate. So I began considering. Nelson Mandela? Meh…that might be the “logical” alternative. And to be trustworthy, dinner with Mandela wouldn’t be essentially the most thrilling factor for a 17-year-old child. Perhaps President Clinton? That’d be cool for bragging rights … however what would we speak about? Given this immediate, I may have simply written some BS about Mandela or the President, however I’d have gave the impression of each different individual making use of for the scholarship. Plus, I didn’t actually wish to meet them. It’s nearly just like the folks making use of overlook that it’s a contest. Would a coach say to his gamers, “Okay guys, we’re enjoying in opposition to each staff in our division subsequent week, so we’re simply going to do the identical performs again and again”? No. 

So why would you wish to try this too? So when it got here to who I needed to have dinner with, I made a decision to go along with my intestine and choose somebody totally different: Chris Rock, which leads me to the following step…

Subsequent: write your utility with UNIQUE solutions as a substitute

Whenever you take a step again and contemplate the widespread solutions to the immediate, you’ll be capable to provide you with a solution that can subvert the choose’s expectations and hold their consideration. In my case, whereas different college students wrote about historic figures, I selected Chris Rock, the well-known comic. 

My essay went on to argue that although he’s perceived merely as a comic, he’s truly a extremely astute social commentator. His jokes revealed the issues we wish to say however gained’t articulate — as a result of we’re afraid to. I even deconstructed certainly one of his jokes and went into an in-depth evaluation of why it was an examination of the racial attitudes our society holds. 

And it labored

My method was offbeat — but skilled. When searching for distinctive angles, you shouldn’t make it offensive or inappropriate. As a substitute, purpose to make it deep, private, and a little bit bit in opposition to the grain.

Pattern scholarship essay questions (good and unhealthy examples)

To indicate you what I imply, listed here are just a few widespread essay prompts — in addition to the boring responses judges will sometimes see AND an instance of a very good reply.

Instance essay immediate query #1

“Is it truthful that skilled athletes earn thousands and thousands of {dollars}?” 

Typical boring reply: “No method! We must be paying that cash to academics and firefighters. Athletes are simply enjoying a sport.” 

What’s incorrect with this reply? You would discover this opinion within the “Letters to the Editor” part of any newspaper. It doesn’t matter if the reply is true — it performs every part protected and is BORING. 

Higher reply: “Salaries aren’t determined by equity. They’re determined by provide and demand. LeBron James is a millionaire as a result of thousands and thousands of followers pay to see him carry out. Apart from, if the athletes weren’t getting the cash, the house owners would. These are the one two choices.”

Instance essay immediate query #2

“Which main world downside would you resolve should you may solely choose one?” 

Typical boring reply: “I’d finish world starvation. Each man, girl, and little one deserves this primary requirement of human life.” 

What’s incorrect with this reply? The reader makes no human connection to you. Why on earth would they wish to learn extra? 

Higher reply: “My life modified endlessly after I spoke at my greatest buddy’s funeral. Standing there underneath the storm clouds, I felt a private obligation to ensure nobody sees suicide as their solely method out.”

Instance essay immediate query #3

“Reply to this assertion: America’s center class is in bother.” 

Typical boring response: “The center class is America’s heartbeat. We have to put huge firms of their place to make room on the desk for everybody.” 

What’s incorrect with this response? That is such a cliche reply, the choose gained’t assist however roll their eyes. Studying a solution like this may have them mentally testing earlier than you possibly can say, “Full-ride scholarship.” 

Higher response: “Courses aren’t mounted teams of individuals. Most of us transfer out and in of various courses all through our lives. The truth is, many individuals who have been within the center class twenty years in the past are within the upper-class at this time.”

The facility of standing out

These solutions virtually seize you by the lapels and COMMAND consideration. They stand out like a lighthouse within the ocean of boring candidates. That is the distinction between following the group and hoping for one of the best versus considering strategically and successful the sport.

Learn how to afford costly colleges (with scholarships)

When you’re a mean excessive schooler, getting sufficient cash to afford to attend an costly or prestigious college can appear overwhelming. Positive, if you will get in, top-tier universities will care for you in quite a lot of methods. And sure, “should you’re ok” contains extremely advanced socio-economic connotations, all of which we are able to’t deal with right here. I merely wish to spotlight the mistaken perception that cash is holding college students again from attending top-tier schools due to tuition prices. 

No. It’s not. When you’re ok to get in, top-tier universities will care for you, financially as properly by serving to you get a better wage and a built-in community. Keep in mind, faculty shouldn’t be a technical college. There’s extra to it than assessing how a lot cash you’ll make when you graduate like so many individuals attempt to declare. There are ineffable qualities to being surrounded by a particularly excessive caliber of friends. 

I’m not even saying, “Go to a top-tier college” (though I believe you need to). However don’t be afraid to use to them simply due to cash. The truth is, tuition must be one of many LAST choices you make. Cease fascinated about the cash upfront. First, deal with moving into one of the best colleges potential, no matter meaning for you. When you safe admission, fear in regards to the funds by utilizing the recommendation on this article to get a number of scholarship cash. 

Keep in mind, should you’ve been accepted, the schools need you there, they usually have giant scholarship funds to make sure that you enroll at their college.

What’s subsequent in terms of getting faculty scholarships?

After studying this, you would possibly end up asking: “Okay, so what’s subsequent?”

Listed below are my closing items of recommendation. When you’re sensible sufficient to have caught with me this far, I do know you’ll be sensible sufficient to take these final ideas significantly. They will make all of the distinction.

Don’t wait

First, don’t wait. Getting scholarships takes time. The truth is, there are even some scholarships you possibly can apply for as a center schooler. 

It’s by no means too early to begin fascinated about getting scholarships.

Don’t despair

With that mentioned, it’s additionally by no means too late to begin wanting. 

Positive, it’s higher to begin earlier. However should you’re just a few months away from commencement and beginning to panic about the right way to pay for school within the fall, don’t despair. 

Simply get severe about following the method above and also you’ll discover just a few nuggets to get you thru your first yr. 

From there, don’t overlook there are many scholarships (particularly out of your college) that apply to second-year college students and past.

Don’t quit

Lastly, all through this course of, there shall be highs (“You’ve simply earned $1,000”) and lows (“We remorse to tell you…”).

By means of all of it, you is likely to be tempted to surrender and simply do what most excessive schoolers are doing about scholarships: virtually nothing.

Keep it up. It is a numbers sport. The extra scholarships you possibly can apply to, the higher your odds of securing the cash and the higher you’ll get at making use of.

Shifting past faculty scholarships

When you assume it’s enjoyable getting free cash from folks to pay for college, then image this:

You may get WAY AHEAD of your friends in terms of cash with just some easy duties most individuals don’t take into consideration till their 30s.

By beginning now, you’ll put your self in a very excellent spot to live a Rich Life. As a substitute of working your self to demise at a dead-end job, placing up with a boss you hate, counting down the times till you possibly can retire and “actually begin dwelling,” you’ll take management of your funds and put cash to give you the results you want.

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