When most students think of scholarships, they quickly think of intense competition and often times it seems almost impossible to be selected as a winner. I am here to tell you that it is not necessary if you know how to find scholarships in the right way. While Harvard students usually have their names on many available scholarships, the rest of us can rest assured that there are many ways we can get scholarships. Finding the right scholarships is how you search for them, which I will describe in this article.

Important Resource:

The most important resource you can use to find good scholarships is your school. In fact, the first step anyone should take when looking for scholarships is to visit their school’s scholarship office and see what awards are available to students. Why? Applying for scholarships through your school greatly reduces competition and thus increases your chances of winning; Instead of competing against thousands of students across the country, you’ll be standing alone against the other students at your school, perhaps less than a hundred. If you get high grades and you write an outstanding essay, you have a good chance of getting some of these scholarships. So, get a list of available scholarships from your school and apply for the one you are eligible for.

 Especially go for those related to your specialization or activities, as the number of applicants will decrease further.

Your next step is to look for scholarships offered by specific companies as they tend to be less competitive. Companies like McDonald’s, Best Buy, and Walmart each offer thousands of scholarships, and they often guarantee that a certain number of winners will be selected from each city where they have a store. You are more likely to win these scholarships than others because your competition here is reduced to only students from your city who choose to apply. 

Start looking for scholarships offered by every major company you know!

Robert C. Check out government programs like the Bird Scholarship. These scholarships are often awarded to one or two nominees from each school. For example, Robert C. The Bird Scholarship is available to high school seniors and awards $1,500 per year in college to two nominees from each high school. The keys to winning are just a first-class rank and high SAT scores (the top two are nominated first by each high school).

Applying for Scholarships:

Finally, here’s what not to do when applying for scholarships (or wait until the last thing to do). Avoid applying for scholarships where you submit an essay to a website because they are highly competitive (compete with students at the national level). The same goes for national scholarships worth $10,000 or more. Yes, it would be great to have that money, but imagine thousands of students like you who think the exact same thing. 

But if you’re done with all the other types of scholarships I mentioned earlier, there’s no harm in applying.

In conclusion, the key to a successful scholarship year is to focus on scholarships that are localized, i.e. scholarships where competition is limited to students from your school or region. The chances of winning these are very high and if you put real effort into the entries, you will definitely have a good chance of winning a few.

 Make sure to apply to as many people as possible because even winning one or two is worth it! Good luck and have fun searching for scholarships!