What to do when applying for scholarships

photo credit: Coastline College

Christian Roque

Crimson Chronicle Reporter

There are two types of Hollywood seniors in this world: those who have worried about financial aid for college at some point and liars. Seeing as how Hollywood High is made up of predominantly low-income students, it makes sense that college tuition fees seem daunting to many of them.

The truth is that there’s not much to worry about if you apply to a good number of scholarships in addition to filing the FAFSA. There are a couple things you should consider when applying for scholarships, though. Here are some of them

  • Try to stay away from no-essay scholarships: Although it may be tempting to apply to scholarships that promise ridiculously large sums of money without you having to do anything for them, so many students sign up for them that your chances of actually receiving them are about as high as you winning the lottery. In most cases, signing up for them only gets your inbox flooded with ads, and in worst-case scenarios, you could be put at risk of identity theft or scammed out of money. If you still are insistent on applying for them, make sure to only apply to ones that are pushed by legitimate scholarship websites and have a secondary email account to sign up for them with.

  • Treat scholarship applications like college apps: If you’ve already applied to UCs, CSUs, or private/out-of-state universities with the Common App, you’ll be happy to know that the process for applying to them is not much different. That means it’s a good idea to keep things like transcripts, financial papers, and recommenders handy when applying. The essay or short response sections of these applications shouldn’t be that much different from writing a Personal Insight Question response or a personal statement. Use the same writing tips that your college counselors or advisors gave you for writing a strong college essay.

  • Take note of scholarships that you’re interested in: Whenever you hear about a scholarship that you think you have a good chance of getting or really want, make sure to write down the name and deadline of the scholarship somewhere to remind yourself to apply for it.

  • Apply for scholarships worth different amounts of money: If you really want to maximize the amount of money you win from scholarships, don’t just apply for scholarships that give out tens of thousands of dollars, as they’re a lot more competitive and highly sought after by students. Likewise, it isn’t a good idea to solely apply for scholarships that give out hundreds or thousands of dollars. Though your chances of getting money from them are better, you’ll have to apply for more of them to get a decent amount of aid. Maintaining a balance between the amount of small and big money scholarships you apply for will save you time from applying for so many scholarships and guarantee that you’ll get good money from them. A good rule of thumb would be to apply to three or four small money scholarships for every big money scholarship you apply for.

In any case, the Crimson Chronicle hopes that all seniors find success in their applying to scholarships.

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