DSWD Educational Assistance

How to Get College Scholarships

Getting college scholarships can greatly reduce the financial burden of higher education. Here are the top 10 tips to help you succeed in securing scholarships:

1. Start Early:
Begin your scholarship search as early as possible, ideally during your junior year of high school. Some scholarships have early application deadlines, so the earlier you start, the more opportunities you’ll have.

2. Research Extensively:
Look for scholarships from various sources, such as colleges, private organizations, foundations, and government agencies. Use scholarship search engines and websites to find opportunities that match your qualifications.

 

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3. Create a Scholarship Calendar:
Keep track of scholarship deadlines and requirements in a calendar or spreadsheet. This will help you stay organized and ensure you don’t miss any deadlines.

4. Maximize Academic Performance:
Maintain a strong GPA and excel in standardized tests like the SAT or ACT. Many scholarships are merit-based and require a good academic record.

5. Highlight Your Achievements:
Showcase your accomplishments, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, community service, and unique talents in your scholarship applications. These can make you a more attractive candidate.

6. Write Compelling Essays:
Craft well-written, persuasive scholarship essays that demonstrate your passion, goals, and why you deserve the scholarship. Tailor each essay to the specific scholarship’s requirements and mission.

7. Request Strong Letters of Recommendation:
Seek recommendations from teachers, mentors, or employers who can speak to your qualifications and character. Give your recommenders ample time to write thoughtful letters.

8. Complete the FAFSA:
Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid and need-based scholarships. Many scholarships use FAFSA information to award aid.

9. Apply for Local Scholarships:
Check with local organizations, businesses, and community groups for scholarships. These can be less competitive and more accessible.

10. Avoid Scholarship Scams:
Be cautious of scholarship offers that require an application fee or ask for sensitive personal information. Legitimate scholarships do not charge fees to apply.

Additional Tips:
– Be persistent and apply for as many scholarships as possible.
– Keep your online presence clean and professional as some scholarship committees may check social media profiles.
– Stay organized and meet all application requirements, including submission deadlines and supporting documents.
– Follow up on submitted applications to ensure they were received and are complete.

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