How to apply for a high school scholarship
First, find the right scholarship.
The first step in applying for a high school scholarship is to find one that fits your goals. For example, if you’d like to study abroad or learn a new skill, see if the scholarship program offers those opportunities.
Once you decide on a few scholarships that fit you and your needs, do some research. Find out about the requirements for each scholarship by searching online or contacting them directly. Make sure you are eligible for the specific scholarship before applying, as many organizations have strict criteria around who can apply.
Sign up to study abroad.
While studying abroad may seem like an expensive endeavor, it’s more accessible than you might think. As you’ll soon see, there are many reasons why spending a semester or two abroad will be well worth the investment.
- You’ll broaden your horizons and gain a new perspective on life and culture.
- Studying abroad is often viewed as a coming-of-age experience that helps young adults mature and grow in confidence while they escape the comforts of home.
- It looks great on your resume! Employers appreciate that studying abroad takes determination, adaptability, and hard work. It demonstrates your ability to survive in unfamiliar environments with limited resources—a skill that few students have when they graduate high school, but one that will serve you well in life no matter what path you choose after graduation.
- You’ll get to see more of the world now than later in life when other responsibilities take priority over travel plans. Traveling allows you to immerse yourself in another culture by experiencing it from an insider’s point of view rather than as an outsider looking in from the outside! If there’s any time for traveling, now is it—before family obligations become too pressing and careers demand too much attention (and money).
Ask around your school or community
There are many ways to find scholarships:
- Talk to your teachers, school counselors, and parents. They may be able to give you information about scholarships due or upcoming scholarship contests!
- Talk to the people in your community who have been to university. They might know about good scholarships for you!
- Go around your community and ask local community groups, your church, or any other group you can think of. You could also use the local newspapers (someone might add a note about it in the paper) or go to your local library and look through scholarship books.
- Ask some of your parents’ friends or neighbors if they know anyone who works at a college that offers scholarships. This is probably not very common but it never hurts to ask! Also, check out websites like Fastweb and CollegeXpress which have tons of scholarships listed on them just waiting for students like yourself!
- Search online. Start with your favorite search engine and type in a few keywords related to the types of scholarships you are looking for such as “high school scholarships”, “high school scholarship information,” etc.
- Check out the websites of your favorite companies. Most large corporations offer at least one scholarship. For example, you could check out the Coca-Cola Scholars Program, the Macy’s Scholarship Program, or the McDonald’s Scholarship Program.
- Check out the websites of groups you belong to. If you are a member of any clubs or organizations that may offer scholarships to their members, check out their websites for more information about how to apply for a scholarship through them. Some examples include sororities and fraternities like Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., religious organizations like churches, volunteer or community service organizations such as local chapters of the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts of America, etc.
Check out websites of groups that you have an interest in but do not currently belong to. There are many groups that will provide financial assistance to students who plan on studying certain fields in college regardless if they belong to those groups while they are still in high school.
Some examples include professional associations like The National Association for Music Education (NAfME), government agencies like The National Science Foundation (NSF), independent non-profit organizations like The National Rifle Association (NRA) Foundation, and other similar entities that have set up educational foundations such as United Negro College Fund and Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
Get in touch with organizations that match students to scholarships
There are many organizations that exist to match students with scholarships. The key is figuring out which one you should contact about your situation. Are you in the military? There’s an organization for that. Do you and your parents have diabetes? There’s an organization for that too. Someone out there is offering money to help people like military veterans and diabetes patients get through college, and knowing where these scholarships are can make a big difference in your financial situation.
Here’s a small sample of organizations like this:
- NASA Space Grant Consortium: This consortium provides funding to colleges and universities in order to bolster science education and training. In addition to their other services, they offer some scholarship opportunities for current students at participating schools who are interested in the field of aeronautics or aerospace engineering.
- American Association of University Women (AAUW): AAUW is a women’s rights advocacy group founded in 1881, whose mission includes promoting education, research, and self-development for women through various programs including educational grants and fellowships for female attendees at accredited institutions of higher learning.
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF): HSF is an advocacy group founded in 1975 whose purpose includes providing resources for Latino families looking to send their children to college, as well as awarding scholarships specifically targeted toward Latino scholars who intend on earning bachelor’s degrees from accredited institutions located within the United States.
Ensure that you’re eligible for the scholarship program
You’ll need to make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements for the scholarship. Most scholarships will require you to be a high school student, but some also have other requirements. For example, some scholarships are only awarded if you come from a particular area of your state or plan on going to college in a specific city. You must also be a US citizen or permanent resident.
Check online databases like Scholarships.com and College Board to find scholarships where you qualify.
Apply early and often
- Apply for as many scholarships as possible. The more scholarships you apply for, the more chances you have to get funded. Don’t limit yourself to just one or two applications. Search all over the internet and look for every scholarship available to your grade level and requirements.
- Don’t wait until the last minute! One of the biggest mistakes students make is waiting until the deadline is closing in before they start applying for scholarships. Instead, work on your scholarship applications early so that you can complete them before the deadlines hit.
- Act quickly once you find a scholarship opportunity that meets your qualifications. Once you’ve found a scholarship opportunity that fits your skills and goals, don’t waste any time getting your application together! Fill out all of the forms required and submit them immediately in order to give yourself more chances of being considered for these awards.
Understand the application and submission requirements completely before filling out the form. Make sure you’ve done your due diligence before applying for a scholarship.
- Understand the application and submission requirements completely before filling out the form.
The last thing you want to do is fill in an incomplete form or send it after a deadline. Make sure you’ve done your due diligence before applying for a high school scholarship.
- Write down the answers to questions and then check them before submitting.
It’s easy to forget what you just typed into a long, drawn-out online form. It’s easier still to misspell something or type in the wrong number when you’re going quickly. Try writing down your answers first, and then transferring them into the appropriate fields on the actual form after you’ve checked them off against your master list of answers.
This will help ensure that all of your information is complete and accurate, including the spelling of names, addresses, course titles, etc., as well as reduce your stress level by ensuring that you won’t have to fix any errors later on!
Keep copies of everything you submit
Keep copies of everything you submit. This is probably the most important tip of all: keep a folder where you can store your applications and keep copies of documents, like transcripts.
Also, for the same reason, keep a record of all the people you contact and when you contact them. You want to make sure that if there is ever an issue with your application, or if it goes missing in transit, you’re able to track down who it was sent to and resolve the issue with minimal stress. Nobody can do this for you but yourself, so be organized!
If there is an interview, then prepare for it
You may be required to do an interview with the scholarship sponsor. You can prepare for this in several ways.
First, practice your answers with someone who is not a friend or family member. Some people choose to use a professional service that specializes in coaching students on interviews and writing scholarship essays. This can be expensive but might give you great results if it is done well.
Second, research the scholarship sponsor organization and learn about its mission and activities. It may help to look at their website for background information about them, including what they do, how they work in the community, etc.
Third, these organizations are looking for specific things from candidates so know what these are before you go into an interview! It will help you answer questions more directly if you can tell that a particular question is designed to elicit certain answers from an applicant.
Apply for a high school scholarship so that you can get more education or do more travel
Some of you may be thinking, “Applying for a high school scholarship sounds like a lot of work. I don’t want to search through all the scholarships and then write an essay.” Well, if you’re willing to put in the effort, it could be well worth your time. Scholarships can help with so many things – going to college or university in another country, learning about new cultures and ways of life, or taking part in volunteer projects around the world.
If you have dreams of doing something special after high school, it’s important that you aim high and go for it! There are people out there who are ready to help make your dreams come true by giving you a scholarship.
So what are you waiting for? Apply today!