6 Easy Tips on How to Get a Scholarship for College Posted byJohn Hall February 2, 2022January 11, 2023 Applying for scholarships may be one way to help reduce the cost of a college education. Organizations that offer scholarships typically do not require repayment of those funds. That means applicants may be able to reduce the cost of their undergrad or graduate education significantly if they are awarded the scholarship. That’s sometimes the hard part, though. Many scholarships have numerous applicants. Many require applicants to complete numerous steps to earn the award as well. As a result, it may be a bit more challenging for some, and it may also feel impossible. However, it does not have to be when you have a few tips to make the process smoother. What Kinds of Scholarships Are Available? There are various types of scholarships available to both grad and undergrad students. That includes merit-based scholarships that set a bar for certain standards that students may need to meet or beat to apply. Merit scholarships may be available for academic achievement, or they may be available for a specific talent, interest, or trait. Some scholarships are geared towards specific individuals or groups. This may include minorities or women. They may be available to just specific people, such as parents who work for a specific company or those within a specific professional organization. Some are designed to meet the needs of military families. Apply to any scholarship you think you fit the requirements for. Tips for Getting Scholarships There is no way to ensure an organization awards a scholarship for you. However, there may be a few tips that make it possible for you to give it your best. Consider these. #1: Start the Scholarship Search Early High school students may wish to begin the scholarship search for their undergraduate education as soon as possible, including in junior and senior years. Those looking for grad school scholarships may wish to begin the application process in their final year of earning their bachelor’s degree or as soon as possible after doing so. Starting early offers several potential benefits: You may have more time to find available scholarships.You may have more time to apply for them with personalized essays.Some scholarships may close early. It is always a good idea to find out when a scholarship’s deadline is. This may range widely in terms of the month of the year they require applicants to apply. Missing the deadline may mean you miss your opportunity. Try to create a list or a chart that outlines when each of the scholarships you are interested in is due, so you avoid this mistake. #2: Search for Available Scholarships You Qualify for Often It may also be helpful to spend some time researching available scholarships. Unigo aims to help with that process by providing tools to help you track down available scholarships that you may qualify for based on various factors. Be sure to look at all potential types of scholarships you may fit into, such as: Minority affiliationsReligious groupsWhat you plan to studyProfessional organizationsTalents or specific skills you haveWhere you or your family members workedPrevious degrees you have In addition to this, research these opportunities often. While many colleges and universities post scholarships that stick around year after year, new listings may become available throughout the year. You may want to check out those that are new and may have less initial competition, for example. #3: Look for Local Scholarship Opportunities It may be worth it for many students to apply for large, well known, and even national scholarships. It may also be beneficial to focus on local opportunities too. Sometimes local businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations offer scholarships to those who live within the community. Some may be from high schools, local nonprofit organizations, or groups that support community residents. Hometown opportunities like this may be beneficial because they may have fewer applicants for them, or you may find it easier to apply for the scholarship. How do you find local scholarships? It is also often possible to find local scholarships by turning to organizations or groups you are a part of, such as clubs, sports, and even the company you worked for during the summer. You may also want to look towards small businesses in the area, local banks, and credit unions. Network with friends and family to find them, and be sure to speak to your high school counselor to help you find available options they may know exist. #4: Aim to Apply to Those You May Fit You Ideally When applying to college scholarships, it may be helpful to start by thinking about the groups you have been a part of, the organizations that you follow or support, and any other types of accomplishments you have had. That may help in finding scholarships. Use this information, then, to also help you stand out on your college application. If you have a good GPA, look for scholarships that favor those with a high GPA.If you were a part of a charter group for a nonprofit organization, be sure to focus on scholarships that may be in that area.Look for scholarships that may be applicable to leaders or people involved in the community if you’ve spent time meeting those expectations and goals in the last few years.If you support a specific charitable cause, look for scholarships available for those who do just that – support that type of charity work.If you’re passionate about a specific industry or type of business, seek out scholarships for that area. When you do this, you may tap into a limited pool of opportunities where there is less competition. You may also be able to showcase your skills in a way that resonates with the organization offering that scholarship. #5: Apply for Scholarships Each Year When in College Some scholarships carry over throughout your college education. Others may need you to apply for them year after year. If awarded any scholarship, be sure that you consider these rules and take advantage of them. However, don’t stop there. You may be able to apply for scholarships throughout your college education. That means you may wish to apply for scholarships you missed when you first enrolled during your sophomore or junior year. You may be able to keep applying for scholarships at any time. Can you find scholarships for grad school? Yes, there are also opportunities for you to find specific scholarships for grad school students. Start looking for these in your junior year of college, so you have plenty of time to apply for them. #6: Do Your Best on Essays It’s not always easy to create an essay that stands out from the rest of the applicants, but that is a big part of earning a scholarship award. To help you, try to write creatively. You may also want to read through the essay rules to be sure you are writing to any specific prompts or within the specific rules. If the essay should be no more than 500 words, don’t submit something with 505 words. Follow those rules as closely as possible. How Can Unigo Help You? Use the tools on Unigo to help you find scholarships you qualify for because you meet the requirements or have specific skills or traits that help you stand out. Utilize the tools to find as many scholarships as possible that you fit into. Applying to numerous may be beneficial. FAQ What Kinds of Scholarships Are Available? There are various types of scholarships available to both grad and undergrad students. That includes merit-based scholarships that set a bar for certain standards that students may need to meet or beat to apply. Merit scholarships may be available for academic achievement, or they may be available for a specific talent, interest, or trait. How do you find local scholarships? It is possible to find local scholarships by turning to organizations or groups you are a part of, such as clubs, sports, and even the company you worked for during the summer. You may also want to look towards small businesses in the area, local banks, and credit unions. Can you find scholarships for grad school? Yes, there are also opportunities for you to find specific scholarships for grad school students. Start looking for these in your junior year of college, so you have plenty of time to apply for them.