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Save time and improve your odds of success. Would you rather spend hours applying for scholarships or years paying off student loan debt? Here are our best tips for finding scholarships and creating the most successful submissions. Apply for local scholarships Many communities offer local scholarships through clubs, organizations, small businesses, and benefactors. The odds of winning these scholarships are greater because they’re open to a smaller group of students. Apply for scholarships with smaller awards Many students look for scholarships that offer the biggest bucks—but those are also the most competitive. Scholarships with smaller awards usually have fewer applicants, so your chances of winning may be higher.
These scholarships can help with college costs like books, supplies, and living expenses. Paying off those smaller expenses can quickly add up to big savings. Many students avoid scholarships that require a lot of work, such as essays, videos, and projects. As a result, the applicant pool is much smaller, which means greater chances for you. Scholarships with essays over 1,000 words often have fewer than 500 applicants, compared to the 5,000 students who enter easier scholarships.
Get personal Instead of burning yourself out applying for every scholarship you qualify for, have some fun! Apply for scholarships that fit your interests and that you’ll enjoy. Don’t introduce yourself in your essay It’s cliché and may even get you disqualified. Many scholarship committees conduct blind readings, and essays that include names or other identifiers are immediately discarded. Get to the point as quickly as possible. Don’t repeat the essay prompt No one wants to reread the same sentence hundreds of times a day.
Use the beginning of your essay to showcase your personality and set yourself apart from the crowd. Try starting your essay by setting the scene for a story or jumping directly into your answer. Don’t use quotes Your essay should be about you. The best essays are unique and stand out from the competition, so be original and use your own words. Satisfy all the requirements You can write the best essay in the world, but if the prompt asks for a list of five things, and you only list four, you may be disqualified.