Searching for scholarships may feel like a job and seniors should treat it as such! It takes time, good research skills and organization to score scholarships. Here are some tips.
KNOW WHERE TO GO
- FutureMe.vansd.org has a comprehensive list of scholarships that can be searched by GPA, industry or eligibility (just click Featured Scholarships)
- Local scholarships and scholarships that align with VPS career pathways or courses are also highlighted here
- Quite a few scholarship databases require the applicant to provide a ton of information that the website can sell and is not required to encrypt. Many of these websites (bold.org) have “contests” that require a lot of personal information that can be used without restriction. There are legitimate scholarships on these websites but just know before you go 🙂
- The Washington Scholarship Coalition has created theWashBoard.org to help save time. This website will never sell your information and the site is spam-free.
- NEVER pay to apply to a scholarship.
- Go to the source! If McDonalds has a scholarship that you are interested in, go directly to it McDonald’s!
- Go to your dream school’s website and search scholarships specific to their programs:
- Create a document to track the scholarships that you applied for (date applied, name of scholarship, link, amount, date award announced)
- Write a general 250-500 word essay on why you deserve a scholarship (use that as a springboard to write other required scholarship essays)
- Keep all your essays so you don’t have to start from scratch each time. Use a naming convention so you can easily find an essay, such as “COLLEGE ESSAY Perseverance”, COLLEGE ESSAY Clark College”, “COLLEGE ESSAY Trade”. Check your email regularly (consider creating an email account just for scholarships)
- Take time to research scholarships each week as new scholarships happen frequently and deadlines vary
- It is worth your time. If it takes you 5 hours to apply and you are awarded $1,000; that’s $200/hour!
Career Specialists are here to help connect you to the perfect scholarship. Reach out for support!