November 2021
Five Tips for submitting prize-winning scholarship applications

Scholarships are one of the ways that students help to fill in the gaps when paying for higher education. But with so many scholarships out there and the most lucrative scholarships also being the most competitive, how does a student stand out? Don’t worry. We’ve put together some tips to help you or that student in your life get an edge in the scholarship application process.
1. Give them what they want.

You can write the best essay, or have some fabulously prestigious letter of recommendation, but if the scholarship application asked for a resume or requested your high school transcript and you omitted it, you may be disqualified. Double check that you submitted all requested materials and answered each question asked before submitting.
2. Know your audience.

Sometimes a little sleuthing or deductive reasoning can give you a good idea who is reading your application. Are you submitting your application to a local business organization with varied members? Application readers are more likely to be a teachable audience so don’t use big complicated theories or obscure references in your application. Instead, take the opportunity to bring the reader on the journey with you to explore your passion or ideas. Keep it simple. Keep it interesting. On the other hand, if your application is heading off to the Dean of the program you are applying to, take the opportunity to impress the heck out of them with your subject knowledge and experience.
3. Write a great essay.

Thinking you may skip that scholarship application that asked for a very specific essay that may take you a bit of time to complete? So is everyone else. Make the time for the more involved applications. Recruit your counselor, librarian, or favorite English teacher to help you through it. Do your research, leave yourself enough time, answer the question that’s being asked, and make sure to have multiple eyes proofread your essay before submitting. Once you’ve got a great essay you can use parts (or even all) of it over again for future applications.
4.  Apply for local scholarships.

Your competition pool shrinks dramatically when you apply for local scholarships. Local scholarship organizations often share that they received only a small number of applications, if any at all. Make sure to complete your school and community specific applications for your best chance to win a prize. Your school counseling office is a great place to find these, and you can find more on our website.
5. Submit your scholarship applications.

You’ll never win that scholarship if you don’t submit the application. Lots of students get started with the scholarship process but get burnt out along the way. Make a plan. Mark your calendar. Find someone to partner with who can keep you motivated and hold you accountable. There are lots of scholarship dollars out there for the taking. Make sure your name is on the list- don’t forget to press “send” or drop it in the mail.
For more information check out the recording of our recent webinar:

Great grades are not the only way to secure scholarship money for college. Many colleges and scholarship organizations are looking to recognize students who are giving back in their school and community. In this webinar, Jessica Whittier, FAME College Access Counselor, talks about how to help students find community service opportunities and secure the scholarships that go with them.
For additional helpful information and resources, find  previous tips on our website.
FAME's College Access and Financial Education Team:
Mila TappanCollege Access and Outreach Manager
Jessica WhittierCollege Access Counselor 
Nikki VachonCollege Access Counselor
Maria MacDougalCollege Access Counselor
Floreka MalualCollege Planning Advisor
Mary DyerFinancial Education Programs Manager
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