Top 10 Scholarship Application Tips For High School Students

Monday, July 26, 2021
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The bad news is that the average cost of college, including tuition, room and board, and other fees, rises year after year. On the other hand, only a fraction of students receive full-ride scholarships to reduce these expenses and avoid hefty student loans to pay for school. 

The good news is that if you want to focus on your academic success instead of worrying about escalating debt, scholarships for high school seniors and scholarships for high school juniors improve your chances of landing a scholarship application before you begin college. 

Another thing that will increase your chances is to follow our top-notch scholarship application tips below:


1. It's never too early to start.

Why wait until your junior year to send your scholarship application? You can research which scholarships for high school students are ideal for you and, therefore, worth your effort and time before your junior year. Not only will this strategy give you a head start, but you can also avoid the stress and fatigue of racing to finish and turn in your scholarship application.


2. Apply for scholarships that are the best fit for you.

Don't waste your time submitting a scholarship application to every opportunity you find. Instead, use your time wisely by narrowing down your options. Use online resources like our NSHSS scholarships page to research year-round listings and select the scholarship that best fits you.


3. Pay attention to every detail when completing your application.

With extensive criteria for how to format your essays, what documents to attach, and when the important deadlines are, it pays to read and follow your scholarship application instructions. Never assume that you already know. Ignoring critical instructions is one way to end up in the rejection pile quickly.


4. Make your scholarship application essay personal.

While writing tips for your scholarship application essay is a blog entry all its own, our most helpful advice: make it personal. The only way for your writing to make an impression is to be specific, genuine, and unique. Don't shy away from including honest details to make your experience true-to-life and one-of-a-kind. 


5. Ask for expert help when you need it.

Don’t hesitate to ask your high school counselor or a college advisor to walk you through the application process from A to Z. That means you can trust them to assist you with everything from choosing the most suited scholarship to reviewing your scholarship application submission package.

6. Ask for letters of recommendation early.

It's advisable to request letters of recommendation from teachers, coaches, employers, and other members of your community early. Give them as much as four weeks advance notice to provide it, so they're not pressured and deliver their best as well. Make it easier for them by providing as much relevant information regarding your scholarship application as possible.


7. Always present yourself like a pro.

Staying professional under pressure is a lifelong skill you will learn through the scholarship application process. Apart from minding your appearance and tone at interviews, it must likewise reflect in your writing and other communications. It also means you must proofread your emails, application, and essay painstakingly. 


8. Don't forget your online presence makes a difference.

Whether it's a scholarship application or a job application, you can't avoid what sort of impact you make online. You must polish everything from your Google results to your social media channels to be timely and professional through and through. Put in the extra effort to create a personal website or portfolio to make the best impression possible.


9. Go beyond your GPA to stay competitive.

While a high GPA is always a plus, some scholarship opportunities don't even consider your grades. Think hard about what makes you genuinely deserving of your scholarship application being ahead of the pack. Do you have any noteworthy accomplishments or talents that make you uniquely qualified for this specific opportunity? Find your passion and let it shine when invited to share.


10. Don't forget to follow up on your scholarship application with a thank you.

One final way to indeed be a front runner with your scholarship application is to email or, better yet, mail a thank you to the scholarship personnel for their trouble. It goes a long way to show you are appreciative of their consideration. Don't forget to thank everyone who wrote your letters of recommendation too!


Visit our Scholarship Application Tips for more indispensable advice directly from the experts.