A student’s guide to winning scholarships

Sheila Tayie, Staff Writer

Paying for college is an unavoidable topic that high school students have to face.

When most think about scholarships they think about free money that comes from private-funded agencies and organizations.

Earning scholarships is a gamble. One may be overly qualified for a scholarship, but may have a weak essay that in turn prevents them from winning the scholarship. This is one reason why so many students have stopped applying for scholarships for college.

It is a struggle to find scholarships that suits a student directly. Once a student may find a scholarship that fits them as they read on in the requirements they most likely have to live in a specific area or state. That is one problem with scholarships that are centered on personal activities. On the bright side there are scholarships that follow personal characteristics such as, “Tall People Club” and “Short People Club”. Students also have the option to participate in scholarships like the famous “Duct Tape Prom”, people usually avoid these types because they say it is too much work.

All students complain about is how every scholarship requires an essay. That’s only half true.

There are plenty of scholarships out there that don’t have essays, but one has to search high and low to find one. Simply typing no essay scholarships on google won’t cut it that will only get a student to a scholarship website like fastweb.com, scholarships.com or cappex.com. If a student does eventually find a scholarship without an essay they can simply follow the rules to enter. Scholarships like these entitle just a simple type of your name in a box or a simple complete this phrase and boom, a student is instantly entered in a chance to win. But, these drawings are really hard to win. Why not lean more towards the essays?

Think about what other students have said about certain scholarships like the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship Program, “That’s only for smart people”. Look here that scholarship is not just for smart people. This scholarship requires eight essays, a student’s academic record is only part of the review process, but the essays hold most of the weight. So, if one can write really well, go for it. There should not be any reason for a student not to participate in this.

Here is a hint: If a student is going to do one of those huge scholarships that require an essay they should make sure to set aside a surplus amount of time to actually complete the essay; meaning more than one day to write it. There is a process to creating a magnificent scholarship worthy essay; a student should get a group of teachers that they know to read their essays. This essay will be passed from teacher to teacher and back to the student with edits to ensure the student will have the perfect essay.

Having a support team of teachers who can give a helping hand to a student is very beneficial when having to complete an essay, especially English teachers.

Come on fellow students; take the time to search the Internet for potential scholarship matches. Using different phrases and different words will generate more scholarship opportunities which will be more money that a student could possibly win.

The scholarships are waiting.