After you find scholarships for which you may be eligible, contact the sponsors to request the applications. Review the applications carefully to determine if you are eligible to be considered and also if you have any reasonable chance of being selected. If you decide to apply, complete the applications carefully and send them in by the deadlines.
Many scholarships are very competitive so it’s important to find and apply for awards that fit well with your background, talents, and achievements and to submit a very solid application. Many scholarship applications require an essay and an interview. Most sponsors will appreciate a copy of your high school resume, if you have one.
The applications may look easy, but keep in mind that they are a critical part of the decision and you probably aren’t the only applicant. Unlike college admissions where thousands of applicants may be accepted, for many scholarships there are only a few recipients.
Some scholarship competitions may require finalists to be interviewed prior to selecting the recipients. It is a good idea to practice for these interviews with a focus on what the judges are seeking. It is not unusual for the sponsor to publish the selection criteria that will be used to choose the recipients.
Many students make the mistake of applying for scholarships for which they are not eligible. For example — If the sponsor requires applicants to have a 3.5 GPA, a demonstrated commitment to community service and be interested in a teaching career, it’s likely that you would be seriously considered ONLY if you met all the qualification requirements. It’s not unusual for sponsors to discard numerous applications from wishful students who aren’t eligible to participate.
Since the FastWeb scholarship search shows potential opportunities that match your profile, it is less likely that you’ll apply for scholarships for which you are not eligible for consideration. Of course, it’s always a smart idea to read the instructions and qualification criteria before moving forward on the application.
In addition to FastWeb and The College Board’s Scholarship Search, there are other good sources of information on the Internet:
Developing your Scholarship Strategy
Where are the College Scholarships?
Super College Guide by: Gen and Kelly Tanabe
Lynn Radlauer Lubell, Publisher of InLikeMe.com and Founder of Admission By Design, an Educational Consultancy based in Boca Raton, Florida.