Finding and Applying to Scholarships
CollegeAdvisor Admissions Expert Isabella has received over $150,000 in scholarship money. Join us as she shares her insider tips on how to find and apply to scholarships.
2021-12-15 Finding and Applying to Scholarships
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s, webinar, finding and applying to scholarships. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in the live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q and a tab.
Now let’s meet our panelists.
Hi everyone. My name’s Isabella and I’m a junior at Penn state and I’m studying mechanical and aerospace engineering. And so, um, when we present to you today about, um, merit scholarships. Okay. So before Isabella goes into her presentation, cause I’m sure everybody’s eager to know where can they find the money.
Right. So let’s first just get a sense of who is in the space right now. So our poll is going to be, what grade are you in? So please begin submitting your responses. And as we’re waiting for our participants, Isabella, [00:01:00] share a little bit about your majors. Very impressive. Tell us what made you decide on those majors?
Um, so I grew up, my dad saw an airline pilot, so I kind of always grew up around like planes and like things that fly. And I was never really, uh, interested in being an engineer here at this time when something that really came to my mind until high school, when I was taking my math science classes. And when my teacher suggested that I should look into engineering.
And then when I was kind of decided what type of engineering is like when I started thinking about this is like the only thing that’s like really super exciting to me, and this is what I want to do. So that’s kind of, of. Great. Awesome. So glad to hear that. Um, so for our participants, we have about 43% that are in the 12th grade.
Also 40% is an 11th grade as well. Um, 10%, 10th grade, and then 1% other, so majority upper classmen for high school. Um, so Isabella, we’ll turn it over to you to share with us more about finding and applying to scholarships. [00:02:00] All right. Thank you.
So, um, it’s lips actually.
So when’s a good time to start thinking about scholarships, pay for college. Um, so let’s make sure to keep in mind when you’re doing your applications and that type of thing. But once you get admitted is when you brought in to start seriously comparing this application, uh, packages, but then for scholarships, you want to start as early as post.
And so we’re can students are looking for scholarships. And that’s a question that we definitely get a lot when we do these types of presentations. And so when I say everywhere, I literally mean everywhere. Um, so you want to look at local companies and non-profits, cause they might have something set up for students in your areas.
Uh, you want to look at companies and organizations that your parents or your grandparents, parents work for. Um, You want to look at places like your high school, they might either have a list or they might have scholarships that they give out every year, either to seniors or to other grade levels. Um, the perspective colleges, the colleges you’re looking at [00:03:00] their websites might have, um, lists where they have scholarships that they will give out to students who apply and get accepted to that school or list of scholarships that they think their students have one that can be applied anywhere.
So that’s also a good place. I’m also doing a good Google search of thinking of things like, uh, scholarships for engineering, student scholarships, for nursing students, that type of thing, or scholarships for Eagle Scouts or scholarships for, um, Hispanic Americans, that type of thing. So you want to look at any keyword that you have or any type of quality about yourself and look that up with scholarship.
And you’ll be surprised sometimes they actually just turn up quite a lot of. And then the other important note for this is it’s not necessarily related to looking for scholarships, but it’s important to fill up the fast with the same time. Because even if it’s a merit scholarship, it’s not going to look at your financial aid or anything like that.
They’re still going to want to see what your password, your expected family contribution or your financial aid status looks like.
And so another big question that we get is are there databases or physical places that students should be looking for [00:04:00] these? And so, um, one good place that I think is always great to start is your local high school guidance counselor office. Cause they normally have a list of either scholarships that students have applied to students of one or that local foundations and organizations that are offering either specifically for your high school or for kids.
So I always go talk to the guidance. Counselor is a good one. Um, also local databases. And so the example I have from this is so I’m from Pittsburgh and we have, uh, a database database called the Pittsburgh foundation and they have a bunch of different scholarships because they basically have donors who say, I want to start a scholarship and they do everything for them.
And then like, you can look it up on this website and try to find scholarships that. Um, for the liquid area. And so another way is, um, as I was talking about earlier, so like Penn state for example, has a database of outside scholarships that it updates regularly for its students reference, but then anyone can go on this website, including you and go look at it and see what, um, outside scholarships they have.
And so these are the only ones that like the students that go to the university have one, and then they’ve processed their financial aid. And that’s how they know about. [00:05:00] But you’d like, you can go on there and see what they have there. Um, also scholarships that older students from your high school or your community might have one in the past.
Um, so we were like, go ask some older students and be like, what have you applied for? And they might have some good lists that might be useful for you. Um, scholarships.com is a good website. Um, but you do have to kind of go through and like filter out, like what’s applicable to you. Same with Fastweb. And then I was saying like Google search, uh, keywords, um, Eagle scout scholarships when engineering, California residents, that type of.
And then another good one is national organizations of your clubs. So for like the national honor society, you have like the local branch of your high school, but there’s like a national national honor society that like takes care of everything between the different chapters, but they also offer a national scholarships you can apply for.
So looking into those, um, as well as a good way to look.
And so then once you found a bunch of scholarships, how can you find scholarships? That you’ll be a good fit? So I think the best way to do this is to kind of read through the scholarships values, like what it was established for. Um, the owner must always say values missions that they’re looking for [00:06:00] and make sure that you’re able to demonstrate those qualities.
So a good example is if it says that they’re looking for someone with, um, volunteer experience and lots of service experience, and you’re not someone who has a lot of volunteer work or service hours, that might not be the best use of your time, because they’ll probably be looking more for someone who’s in a lot of volunteer work or service work.
Um, another way to see if you’re a good fit is to read the bios of previous winners. So a lot of scholarships will have, um, on their websites. Like this is so-and-so they won the scholarship and this year, this is all the stuff about them. And you can kind of see where you measure up within that. And like, do you have a similar background, like extracurricular, that kind of thing.
And like, see if that’s something that you can like measure up to. Um, and it’s also like, so these applications are very similar to college applications in terms of demonstrating your. Both inside and outside of academics. So that’s kind of something else to look at is, do you, are you able to demonstrate that you’re well-rounded and that you do a lot, both inside and out of school and then also the S’s are good ones.
So if they’re like, so the essays might be very specific, something like, um, like a [00:07:00] time in your life that you had to deal with grief, but then if you’ve never had a time of your life, that you have to deal with grief now that might not be the best one for you to answer, and you might ha you might find better luck and have better use of your time.
Find something that you can better.
Okay. So now that brings us to our second poll for this evening. Um, we want to know where are you in the scholarship application process? So. Maybe you haven’t started, perhaps you’re doing your research. You may be working on an essay or you’ve submitted at least one application. Let us know where you all are.
In the scholarship application process.
See a few coming in for research. Good. Some have submitted their applications are ready when at least one application on it.[00:08:00]
Give you a few more seconds to add your response.
Isabella like, so for you obligation the scholarship application process wasn’t too long ago. Do you remember, like in the midst of, you know, the application season, the college application season, where were you at at this time? But your scholarship. I think I had applied to a couple were like five or six, but to be fair, I don’t think it was running the ones I want at the end of the day.
So that’s a good place to be in, especially balancing college applications. Okay. So we’re going to close our polls. So we have. 36% of our participants have submitted at least one application. Maybe some have, have done five or six as you did Isabella. During this [00:09:00] time a 28% are researching and 36% haven’t started.
So I can imagine for that 36% after Isabella’s presentation, they are going to start their applications. Um, You know, there’s never the right time and you all will continue to learn that through Isabella presentation. So I will turn it back over to you.
Um, so then a lot of students always want to ask, um, what type of materials are required on a scholarship application. And so that really depends on the scholarship. Um, It’s from who’s reviewing it and also like the amount of money or like the competitiveness really plays into that as well. Because local scholarship, you might just write an essay, but a national one, you might do an essay and interview.
The whole thing. Um, but so they’ll always ask for like names of, and names and email addresses of your recommenders, get those letters, or they’ll just ask for the letter themselves. Um, depending on the type of scholarship, they’ll ask information about your advanced coursework. Um, also about your transcript, [00:10:00] um, they’ll review all the materials submitted to your called college application.
If this is like a college specific scholarships, if you’re applying for a scholarship. North Carolina state university. They’ll also review everything submitted to the university and that you all, in addition to everything you spent to the scholarship, um, activities are also something that’s always that gets put on there.
Um, sometimes it’s just a list of activities. Other times it’s activities with descriptions, uh, your service hours. And it might be just the amount of hours or the amount of hours feeds into each thing, like the whole breakdown with the description. Um, essays and short responses. Uh, you may have to make a video.
Um, also a lot of times get asked, but the cost of attendance on your attended school, or if you have to decide you they’ll just say your top school for now. And then I’ll ask also your expected family contribution from FAFSA, which is why it’s super important that you fill out FAFSA. Cause they. For it.
And so all of these things being on one application is super rare. And if it is like on all one application, it’s probably very competitive, big award. Um, but these are all things that could show up on different applications to somebody to think.[00:11:00]
And so how can students tell if there’s so many, a great application? Uh, so in regards to the SSN responses is a fully answering the prompt and demonstrating the qualities that they’re looking for for their recipient of the scholarship. And does it fit the mission of the scholarship? Um, so they’re aiming to.
Give a scholarship to someone who has, um, a dream to do something in engineering. And they want to hear about your dreams and engineerings. And you don’t really talk about your dreams and engineerings and the response, and that’s not necessarily a great application. Um, so with activities, um, if they’re looking for someone who’s super involved in the community, and then you don’t have a lot of variety in your activity, or you don’t do a really great job describing them, even if you do have a good variety, um, then that’s not going to make a great for application and by ranking.
I mean, a lot of the times you want to rank your most important or your most. The means you have the most achievement and you want those to be kind of at the top of list, like similar to your common app application, because those are the ones they’re going to see for. Um, so for videos, if you have to make a video response, you want to speak slowly, clearly, um, look into the [00:12:00] camera.
It’s really easy to look at yourself when you’re presenting. Um, you want to sound genuine professional, that type of thing. And it also answered the question that you’re supposed to be answering in video. And then your recommendations. Um, I think someone once said to me that I don’t like lukewarm recommendation is working.
Like no recommendation at all. So you want to make sure that you’re getting a recommendation from someone who can really speak about your achievements. Um, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to know you super, super well, but someone like you can give them like your resume or an activities list or something like that.
So that way in your like letter, they have plenty of things to speak about and you can kind of work with them on that, um, to make sure that your recommendation really stands out and shows all the amazing things. And so, um, what’s the difference between local national international scholarships. And so I think I’ve kind of alluded that a little bit with saying like, some are a lot more positive and some are less competitive, but so local scholarships generally tend to be less competitive because they have a smaller applicant pool.
It’s just the local area, your high school, whatever the criteria is for the scholarship. [00:13:00] And so it’s a lot easier to stand out in these smaller school scholarships because it’s just your community versus a hundred thousand and a million students nationwide that I applied to one school. Um, the ones that are local are tend to be more community focused and they’re have less of a structure.
Like the big national ones will say, this is round one. This is round two interview round three. And that kind of thing. But the community wants might just be like one round and there might not be a whole lot of information as to how they’re going to and your application. Cause it could just be like a board of a local organization or something like that.
Um, but that same time though, local scholarships are awesome because they might be a lot more than these big national ones, but they’re a lot easier to win. And the more you win that could be just as rewarding as when just one big national scholar.
And so how can you keep track of all these scholarships that you were interested in applying for? So you can start coming up with a list no matter where you are in high school or the college application process. Um, and so starting to list is half the work half the work is narrowing down this big, that database that spits out all these [00:14:00] possible scholarships at you is narrowing it down and finding what you’re actually eligible for and what’s worth your time to apply for.
So once you have this list go and you’re ready to have that. Nearly restart the longer and more defined your list will be for senior year. So if you’re one of the freshmen or sophomore, um, like on listening to this call, it’s gonna be great for you to start because now you have so much less work to do for your senior year.
Um, and it’s also, um, try to have a good, like a good deadline to how to have your lists done is December of your senior year. Not saying that, like, if you don’t, it’s not like it’s not going to discount anything. That’s a lot of scholarships are due before. January to April timeframe. So if you can get that done by the end of the summer, it makes your life easier and make sure, make sure it makes sure that you’re not going to miss any scholarships that you’re eligible for because you found them at the end of January, but they were due January 15th.
Um, so this is just kind of a little screenshot of, um, what I only put in my list. So I put, um, So I like labeled type of scholarship. Is it like an external one or is it like related to school? And that’s like a different list. Um, and I [00:15:00] put, like, if there’s multiple rounds, you would put like the advancement date to the next one.
Uh, the deadline, the amount scholarship for, if you have to interview when the data is once you have that. Um, like when you’ll hear back at the end, I think that’s really important because if you don’t keep track of that, you’re not sure about the status, a lot of things. Um, do you need some rec letters?
And I normally like break the names of my recommendations. Have you applied that you went in and is renewable. So basically said like a one-time award or as an award that you can, um, that will say if it’s like $1,000 is a $1,000 one time or someone thousand dollars every year for four years of college.
Um, and you can modify this, like, as you see fit, like, I don’t think like this order makes sense to everybody, but it makes sense to me when I do it in this year list, like just got it’s just has to be organized and look nice for you. That’s all that matters. And so I’m kind of going back into my scholarship journey.
So my, uh, freshman year of high school, um, my, a lot of people like in my school, I like guidance counselors and everything started talking about college and pink. And I had always wanted to go to college. Um, my [00:16:00] parents went to college, my parents went to college in a different country. And so it was like very different than going to college in the U S in terms of cost and like the whole experience.
Um, and so then talking to my parents, um, I realized my family didn’t really have like a means for me to pay for this. And so like, you would just hear, like, just take out a bunch of loans. And even like when I was younger, it was like that. I don’t know that I like that idea. Um, and so I just, by chance happened to read this book called confessions, a scholarship winner, which I consider a great book, but I’m sure there’s many similar ones that are just straight out there, but it basically outlines, um, another scholarship winner who won a lot of, um, big scholarships and that type of thing, and was able to fund her college experience.
It outlines her whole process and like a bunch of tips she had in that whole thing. Um, And so basically like reading this book, refine my goals for high school. And I made things a lot more measurable goals rather than run cross country. It was like run cross. She keeps these goals and are like, be in marching band instead of just like stay in marching band for four years.
I had like specific goals for every activity. I did it. And also for my academics, I think that was really [00:17:00] great because of. Me and my, I mean, me let’s achieve alum then a very measurable, aren’t going to do these activities regardless because I liked them and then set me up for success in my applications, because I had a lot more things to kind of talk about them that I shaved than did.
And so when I was applying for scholarships, um, I kept tracked on the spreadsheet that I have also given an example though. But so I started looking the summer before my senior year. I’m like seriously and making my lists. And so I would recommend starting earlier than that. But, um, yeah. And so every month I would look at what applications I had coming up.
So you can basically do like. A very simple sort of filter a thing, an Excel and sorts of sorted by the deadline. Um, so if you just have a random list that you’ve been making at the end, you can just sort it by the deadline and you don’t have to like go through and do it line by line yourself. Um, so I would look every month at what I have upcoming and I would see, okay, what applications have I started with any.
Um, what do I have coming up that I need to make sure I have, like already asked my recommendations, forks [00:18:00] generally want to ask like two to four weeks in advance. Um, and then I would have all these different things, the amount that I applied, the rec letter. And so I also always color coded it. So like green is like, I received it.
Red is like, I didn’t receive it in blues. I didn’t apply. So maybe I like, like, this is my college version of it. So like, I didn’t have time to apply those, I think, but so that’s the way I do it. And you can always adjust it to do whatever’s best.
Um, and so what has been the outcome of all this work and dedication? So, um, upon graduating from high school, I had received enough scholarship money to cover almost the entire cost of my tuition, uh, through con like a combination of renewable scholarships. And then I had a bunch of one-time awards that basically covered almost all freshmen sophomore year, so that I just had to figure out what I was gonna do for the gap, Virginia and senior.
And I found the continuing to apply for scholarships and college allowed me to very quickly fill that gap in. And then even when more money than I needed just for my regular tuition board meals and that I was able to fund other [00:19:00] experiences like studying abroad, which I’m going to spring. I was able to take some summer classes enlightened some coursework later, or basically take summer classes and call me my double major because I was able to pay for it with scholarship money.
I was able to move out of the dorm room in my second year and start doing off-campus housing, which was really popular around here. But off-campus housing can be a lot more expensive than on canvas housing. And I had enough to basically be able to cover that and a bunch of other opportunities that I don’t think I would have been able to do without like this amount of scholarship money.
But overall, I think the most important thing for me was a stress-free financial situation instead of focusing on, oh, I need a part-time job. I need to think about what I can just focus on school and getting that done and like, not have to worry about any major.
And so my last advice to students who want to find scholarship money for college is to, um, I would read it as money stories, um, tips and like biographies from previous scholarship letters, but for like the really big ones too, like the small ones, I think you can find a lot of common traits that are really useful for your own [00:20:00] search.
Um, and same with. Materials like re like if it’s available, like read their essays, that type of thing. Um, my other advice is don’t be afraid to reuse essays. Um, I see this a lot with students that I like working with. Like, they don’t want to reuse an essay that they wrote for one college, for another one.
That’s like the similar prom, but you definitely should, because it could save so much time. Instead of writing a whole new essay from scratch, you already wrote like something that’s very similar. So now you can kind of reuse the idea and like, make it work. And then my other big tip is that once you’re in college continue applying.
So it’s a lot harder. I feel like in college, you’re not quite in the mentality, but applying to things you’re in the mentality of getting grades and that’s the thing, but try to set a goal number of applications for each school year. A lot of collegiate organizations that you will be in will give money.
Um, Both of the national local level and then keep track of how much he won from what organization, when you should receive it. Um, there’s been quite a lot of times where they send something to my school and I don’t know what happened to it, but never got processed. And then, cause I was keeping track of it.
I was able to go back to the organization and say, Hey, nothing ever got processed. Can you board that? Check-in set another, that type of thing.[00:21:00]
Yes. So thank you, Isabella, for sharing all the great information about finding and applying to scholarships. So that concludes the content portion of the presentation. So now we’re going to go into our live Q and a. So just a reminder that I will read through the questions that you submitted in the Q and a to.
And then we’ll paste those into the public chat so that you can see, um, see them and we’ll read them out loud and then we’ll allow Isabella opportunity to answer it just as a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit the questions. Just double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not the webinar landing page.
All right. So Isabella, as you were presenting, we actually started to getting some questions. And, um, so the first question we have, we have a lot of questions from the prefab as [00:22:00] well. So does posting, let me see, does posting routinely on Instagram and being an ambassador for a company count as an extracurricular.
I definitely think it does. Um, I’m most familiar with the specifics of your activity, obviously, but like if you’re spending a lot of time in it and putting a lot of effort into it or also whether it’s paid or unpaid, um, then that would definitely count as an extracurricular activity. Nice. And, um, should students be paying to apply for scholarships?
Definitely not. If I’m, they’re asking you to pay for, it’s probably a scam a little bit. If a lot of it is scam, so I wouldn’t pay any money for supplies scholarship. Yes. So I just want to reiterate that point. I actually was in an advising meeting yesterday with a student and she brought this up. Um, you know, as you get ready to apply to college, you’ll start to receive a lot of emails, especially as you sign up for different search engines.
And if they’re offering you, they’re saying you have to pay a [00:23:00] cost to get a scholarship. Like Isabella said, it’s more likely, it’s probably a scam. So be careful, be careful. Um, next question. Someone said that you, you said that you need to fill up a fast, but even if you want to qualify for merit based scholarships.
So what happens if you are accepted to a university early decision without having filled out the FASFA? Is it too late? Is it too? Um, so I think that fast, the deadline is sometime in the spring. So even at like, I know you can still fill it out right now. Um, so even if you’ve already been accepted, you know, somewhere you’re going, that’s not a big deal.
You get. And it’s not every merit based scholarship that will ask for it. It’s just some of them do. And even it’s more of the, like a collection purpose, but like in terms of like their demographic than it has anything to do with the application, but a lot of times it is required question. Um, so even if you know, you’re not going to get any money because of your past vote and your expected family contribution, it’s [00:24:00] still a good number to have, because if they do ask for it, you don’t want that to be the reason to disqualify you from applying for scholarship, because you don’t have the number and you don’t have that fill out.
Yup. Okay. So are what particular websites do you recommend for looking at scholarships? Um, so I think you have a couple in the presentation. The ones that I really liked were scholarship stuck home, and I think fast web, but overall, I feel like with the search, what for search engines? I always, I don’t know.
I think it’s more the interface I didn’t really like, but I never really used them too much. I literally would just Google and I kind of thing. And like I found that to be a lot more effective. Um, But I think those websites can also be really good. And like, there’s definitely a lot of filter options as well to find what you’re looking for.
Um, another spot like website that I would recommend that even if it’s a little weird is like LinkedIn is like seeing if you could find someone like, so there’s a lot of people who like, I want a lot of scholarships and they’ve either written books, so they have websites, that kind of thing. And if you can find them on LinkedIn, a lot of times I listen to scholarship, like one like in their awards section, which is like a really weird [00:25:00] tidbit knowledge thing.
But if you find that, then you can go through that and find a bunch of scholarships that we want. Then maybe you could apply for. Wow. That’s a, that’s a new modern scholarship search and use it utilizing linked in. And that was, that was some really great advice to give. Uh, next question is someone wants to know more about your kind of scholarship experience.
So when did you, what was the first scholarship that you, do you remember, like when your first scholarship came in? Like, what was it? So I wanted to get a key time, like, get a sense of timeline. Um, so I don’t remember what exactly the first one was, but do you remember like, Like two of the first ones. Um, so the first one, I think I, one was like a small one from Comcast.
Um, I was like $2,000, like one time. And they were giving out to, I think it was like a national competition, but they gave it a lot of awards, like to a lot of different people. Like there’s like two other kids from my high school that also won it. Um, but that was like pretty exciting. Cause I was like, wow.
Um, but then I think the one that I like [00:26:00] really distinctly remember. Early on was, um, this, uh, Lockheed Martin like stem shit. It was like $10,000 a year. And the reason I remember that is because that really changed where I was looking at going to school at that point, because at that point, all my financial aid, like situation looked the same for all the schools there.
There’s like no way to narrow it down on that aspect. And I was having a very hard time picking it up. And then once I got that and I knew where I could use that scholarship and that type of thing, that’s what has helped me narrow it down because it’s like significantly took a bunch of money off. Um, like one, like it took one of my schools down from like a certain amount to like way lower.
And that’s basically how I decided. So, but I do think that I won the Comcast one, probably like February ish and then like the Lockean was in April. So this happened my younger brother to a lot of the scholarships he won. He didn’t win until like the April may timeframe. If it’s like marching, you’re sitting there and you’re like, I have won anything yet.
I wouldn’t break out because a lot of times it’s more like April, may or June, even then you’ll kind of starting a lot more money rolling in. Okay. Um, [00:27:00] next question is once you win the scholarship, how do you receive it and use it? So it was more like how do scholarships kinda, um, scholarship people, how do they kind of distribute the awards?
So there’s a couple of different ways and it really just depends on the scholarship. Um, so if it’s from your university, it will obviously get posted straight into your account. Um, if it’s, sometimes we’ll send it to your university with like your name on it, and it’ll say, um, like they’ll pay it to your bursar account.
And they’ll say for this person’s account as something you won’t ever have. Um, another way is sometimes it will directly send you a check and you’ll go and deposit your account. And then I’ve had a couple of scholarships so far, actually that will help me set up like a direct deposit type deal where they’ll directly go into positive and like my bank account.
Um, so like, I would say the most common though, is that they don’t directly pay it to your university. Um, and then if you have an excess amount of money and that’s it, then you’ll get like a refund with the access and then you can use that for other things like my housing’s off campus. So I get a refund every semester that I use to go pay my rent.[00:28:00]
Um, what tips do you have on how to write a good or interesting scholarship? Um, I would say it’s pretty similar to writing your college essays. Like you want to be genuine in what you’re saying. Like, you don’t want to be lying or trying to put a persona that isn’t you. Um, another good tip is try to answer the question.
And I know that sounds very like obvious, but sometimes the questions can like have multiple parts there, like describe an experience and what you learned for it, and you will just describe it. They learn for not fully really describe the experience or they’ll describe the experience, but not spend enough time on what they learned from it.
So make sure answering all parts of the prompt and giving them all equal attention, I think is my biggest. Okay. Um, the next question is in some of these things also as Isabella might be you repeating yourself too. Um, so just give you a heads up. So what scholarships did you apply for before you went to college and what scholarships do you recommend as well?
Um, so I applied for a big [00:29:00] range of them. I applied for, um, a good amount of like big nationals, like Coca-Cola, um, like there’s one called like ALK, most valuable, a lot of these like big national competitions. Um, I applied to a lot of school specific ones as well. So like all the colleges I was interested in would have separate scholarship applications for various scholarships and I would go through and apply to all of those.
Um, I think I also applied to, uh, well, I did apply to a lot of local ones, like my high school. Like I was talking about a little bit earlier. Um, my guidance counselor had a list of scholarships that were like local and I was able to win quite a lot of them actually. And that was really helpful. Um, so then I guess for kind of something to your other question, um, what are some recommendations for scholarships?
So, um, there’s a lot of big national ones. I think like hub already kind of like started in like deadlines have passed, like Coca-Cola is a big one. Um, um, elk was like valuable competition. The national honor society, if you’re in a NHS is a good one. Um, I know I played someone for key club and a key clubs with super popular extracurriculars.
That one, I think is also a great one to apply to, um, [00:30:00] The Lockheed Martin S stem scholarship. If you’re into engineering, stem type things, uh, yeah. Those ones in any, anything local. I think, I think we’ll look at ones are always like, such a good bet because it’s like a lot less people. And there’s been so many times that people have told me, like for like their local scholarships, they have like five applicants or something like that.
And they’re giving me like $2,000. So like that’s, those are good odds. I agree on that. Isabella, the local scholarships. Golden. Um, like you said, a lot of students haven’t applied for them. I remember I got a couple and then sometimes for some of the local scholarships, they might include like a banquet of some sort, well, this is pre COVID, but like have like, you know, banquets where they honor celebrate you.
And so those are always really fun. Once I went to, um, someone asks, can I apply to the FASFA in 11th grade? Um, so you normally apply for FASFA the year, the fast for the upcoming school year, the school year before. So you wouldn’t, and it’s not like if you’re [00:31:00] applying for scholarships, so, and 11th graders, they wouldn’t like require you to put that.
Um, because I know that that’s not like open to you yet. You don’t really, so if you’re in 11th grade right now, you would fill up the past one next fall. Okay. Um, does applying to the fast foot early, like, mean that you like, get it earlier a chance at getting. I’m the college. So there’s, I think there’s a cutoff deadline or something like that at some point or a deadline you’re supposed to have it filed by, but there’s not, it’s not like a application like first come first serve.
It’s just like, whenever is fine. As long as you get it in by the required day. Is it possible to get scholarships? If you don’t have unique extracurriculars are really good grades. Yeah. So there’s a scholarship for everything like you don’t need to have, like, I don’t think any of my extracurriculars in high school were unique at all.
Like it was like cross-country and band and it’s like, those are all like very common things. I feel like, um, And so I don’t think that’s necessarily what stood out. I think the thing that can really make you stand out your application, like your [00:32:00] extracurriculars should just really show involvement and engagement, that type of thing.
Um, but then I think the things that always made me stand out where my, uh, like essays, I always spent a lot of times on these essays. I always had them reviewed by friends or my parents or teachers and that kind of thing. Um, and I always tried to be very. Myself and them, like, that was a big thing. Like I never really tried to like say like, try to sound like what I thought they wanted to hear.
I would just answer the question honestly and just let it go in that kind of thing. So I, I don’t think that not having, I don’t think like having extra colors that are, um, unique or anything like that, or having the fact that you don’t have like a perfect GPA or something’s going to disqualify you because there’s so many scholarships for so many different people and for different reasons.
And a lot of times we’re not necessarily looking for the perfect student either. So definitely apply to everything you think you’re calling. Yeah. And then a student has asked, um, how do I find local scholarships? I’m homeschooled. Um, so you can also, um, like even if you are homeschool, there’s like a, a high-school I’m sure that [00:33:00] like, if you were attending like a public school or private school or in-person school, um, I’m sure that there is like somewhere that you would have supposed to have to go on.
So you could always go reach out to the guidance counselor and say, I’m. A homeschooled student and like the local area. And I’m asking if you have any scholarships and like guidance counselors, aren’t going to say no to you. Like they’re, they’re trying to help students. So you always reach out to them that way I’m working have a friend that goes to like the local high school, be like, Hey, can you go ask your guidance counselor for the list or something like that?
Yeah, definitely. Um, as a senior, when should I start applying to scholarships? I would say honestly, whenever your schedule allows. Um, so there’s some that are like, the applications are open as early as like August or September. So those don’t open up till later. I think a lot of them are due like in January, March, which is like really good with college applications because your college applications are normally like, kind of wrapped up by that time period.
So they’re not like it’s not like two things at once. Um, but honestly, as soon as you’re able, I think it’s a good start because it’s a little bit of a numbers game, I would say. Um, like the more scholarships you [00:34:00] apply to, the more you’re gonna to. And that’s true for no matter how qualified or unqualified or whatever, no matter what type of student you are like as a numbers game.
So I think I applied to like 70 and then one like 10, my senior year. So numbers, the more you can do the better, which, I mean, speaking of the numbers, someone did ask, is it common for people to never win a scholarship? I don’t really know too much about that, but I feel like, um, There’s like scholarships for absolutely everything.
So I think it looks like, I think it’s common to not when, when, if you don’t apply, like, I do know like people who like never applied to scholarships, so obviously it’s a lot harder. One to one, if you don’t apply one. Um, but I would say if you’re like, like if you’re seriously looking at applying to a lot of things, like at some point you will win one.
Um, and yeah, so like, I dunno, I can’t really like answer that question, like with like a number or anything like that, but I think like, whatever you put into it, you’re going to get out of it. So. Yeah. Yep, exactly. We can, we can not advise that you will never win a [00:35:00] scholarship. It’s really about the effort that you put into it.
Also, you know, making sure that for the scholarship applications, that you are eligible for, the ones that you’re applying to. Um, we got one question where. You know, what if this says that the GPA requirement is 3.8, but I have a 3.7. So Isabella, what would be your advice to a student who is considering applying to a scholarship?
If the requirement is a 3.8, three seven, I would say, it’s not really worth your time. You’re going to waste your time, not waste your time, like writing the essays and that kind of thing. Because a lot of times, like if you don’t hit the bare minimum requirements, they just want evaluate it. And that would really suck.
Um, but sometimes they say like recommended 3.8 and then that. I think you should apply with Cuba 3.7, a lot of other things to talk about. Um, but if it’s like a hard cutoff of like, this is like the criteria, it’s like, if the criteria is like for women engineering and you’re not a woman in engineering, that’s probably not a great use of your time.
[00:36:00] Yes, yes. Right, right. I agree with you on that. Um, okay. So Isabelle may give you a. Rake a little, little quick, little pause. Um, I’m going to share with you all more about, you know, CollegeAdvisor. So, you know, are you interested in, you know, in working with one of our advisors, we have a team of over 200 advisors who are ready and open to support you through your college application process.
And also you don’t want to have the things that, you know, we offer within CollegeAdvisor is we also can support you with your scholarship. So we can support you with brainstorming good support. You would also searching for scholarships and et cetera. So if you are interested, I am going to share with you all an offer link and you all can sign up for a consultation.
And then we’ll be able to take it from there. So Isabella and I are both advisors. And so, um, we have both have experienced supporting students through not [00:37:00] only the application process, but also through the process of applying to scholarships. So with that, I will turn it back over to Isabella who, um, we’re going to go into some more questions to answer.
So from our pre panel questions, um, one student. You know, what can I do to boost my chances? Um, so I would say, um, Give us the, kind of the same type of dedication that you give, like a college application. So like something that you do, like an essay you really quick and turn in, isn’t going to have the same impact or level of, you know, same level basically as something that you took time to edit and have other people look at it, same goes for the overall application.
I think it’s always a good idea to have like your parents look over it and make sure. It’s spelled everything. Right. Everything looks good. Um, and I think again for boosting your application as to kind of like, uh, work on the front end of like making sure that you’re finding things that you were actually like a really good fit for, um, instead of just things that you like [00:38:00] vaguely kind of a fit for.
Great. Great. And then, um, so when just ask the question around, how do I, you know, For opportunities to volunteer. So being that, you know, applications are probably looking at extracurriculars and volunteer service, um, you know, how do you find volunteer opportunities? Um, so, and then it kind of goes into what your interests are, because I think at the end of the day, and you will always speak a lot better about the things that you’re actually interested in passionate about than you do about things that you do just to do them.
Um, because your passion comes through like subconsciously, if you really like what you’re doing. So I would say like, if maybe you’re like animals, you can go to the animal shelter or like, Like I was really, when I was in high school, I really liked playing music. So I would go volunteer here to like play music at like the local nursing home with my friends.
Like we put on a concert or something like that. Um, so there’s like a lot of things and you can be as creative with it as possible. Um, like you don’t have to go and like volunteer to set up chairs or something. If you don’t want to, like, you can do something more [00:39:00] fun, like put on like a big event or something like that.
Like if you like running, we’d put on like a. Uh, running event that like benefits charity, but that would count as volunteer hours. So I would say like, whatever you’re interested in, like you can find ways to do it. Um, And so I would say like, if you’re just looking for like some ideas, see, has started like local nursing homes look, animal shelters.
Um, I think basically anyone who like might need be in need of help is a good way to start. Um, or your church, if you’re involved with church or any type of religion, a lot of times they have a lot of volunteer events you can do as well. Okay, great. And then, um, what about if you’re like working part-time does that count as well?
Um, so if the, if you’re getting paid to work, it’s not volunteer work because you’re getting paid to work with your compensation. But, um, if it’s like a part-time job, that’s, uh, I don’t know if it’s like, like if you have a part-time job, like the animal shelter and you don’t get paid and you’re just really volunteering to be there and it’s like a job and that would be that count.
But overall funding paid payments doesn’t count. [00:40:00] Okay. And then what is the average amount, um, that a student can receive from scholarships? I made me for like one scholarship. What’s maybe like an average. Um, I would say like the average amount is like probably like one or $2,000, just cause there’s a lot of scholarships that are for like really small, like one time awards type of thing, or really small as relative.
But like one time awards. Um, I would say like the big ones have like 10, $15,000. Those are generally like some of the more competitive ones and those are also a lot less than like the smaller ones as well. Okay. And then what’s the most, like the highest amount you’ve seen for Scott? I think, um, so the highest amount I’ve seen I think is in terms of like renewable scholarships, um, so scholarships that you can receive every year.
And so it’s not necessarily like a number it’s more of like an unbounded. Like I saw one that it was like, uh, we’ll cover 98% of your tuition. So if you go to a really expensive school where your tuition is like $50,000, like that’s a pretty big if they do it, if they cover it every year. [00:41:00] Um, I think the biggest, like defined amount that I’ve seen is like $20,000.
Um, how about for a student who wants to get an athletic scholarship? How do students go about. No findings athletic scholarships. Um, so I’m not super familiar. So I wasn’t looking to do CA like athletics in college. Um, but so they have scholarships that are like for student athletes. Like, if you are an athlete, they’ll give you a scholarship.
And then if you want a scholarship specifically for doing athletics, I think you have to go through the formal, like athletic recruiting process of that college and like get on the tee or not type of thing. And that’s how they do those scholarships. Um, do I need the sat or the act in order to get a scholarship?
Um, it depends on the type of reward. I want to say a lot less require that now because of COVID, but it’s kind of the same thing as fast for like they might ask for, they might not. Um, so that’s always a good thing to have it, but I think right now, because of COVID, there’s probably a lot less requirements to put your sag on there.[00:42:00]
Okay. And if I do want a scholarship, how do I keep track of. Um, so like, just keep track of it, like on a Google sheet, something, whatever you use to organize yourself, or just put a note on your, I don’t know, whatever you use to keep track of things. Um, and then I would make sure you have the contact info the amount, and then also know when you’re supposed to receive it.
So then if they say like, uh, it’s for fall semester and fall semester started and you still haven’t seen anything of it, maybe email them and say, when’s that coming? And generally they’ll give you like a point of contact that you can email and talk to, and they’ll talk to you, but. Yeah, good part. And then, you know, also kind of adding onto what Isabella.
Sometimes scholarship, um, you know, folks may ask for additional information. So they might ask for a letter that confirms the college that you are enrolled in, that you’ll have to go to your university registrar to receive. So it’s very important that you do, you know, stay on track with the application, the scholarships that you are awarded so that you don’t miss any [00:43:00] key deadlines, because they may say we need this information by this date and you don’t want to have to forfeit your scholarship.
You missed the deadline, that’s free money. Um, let’s see. Hmm. How long does it take to hear back if you got, if you received the scholarship or not? Um, also depends on the type of scholarship. Um, I think like the bigger, more competitive ones tend to be like on the order of like months, like 1, 2, 3 months.
I think that the, like the more locals tend to be quicker. And the quickest turnaround I’ve seen is probably like a month or something like that, because like they have to have people review that type of thing. Uh, so yeah, I would say anywhere from like one to three months, it’s probably like looking at okay.
Um, and then this question is. There are some websites such as fast web and bold.org, um, that lists many scholarships, but we are getting several emails daily. Are [00:44:00] these valid websites with valid scholarship opportunities? Um, we’re just concerned about providing private information to these unknown entities.
So I wouldn’t give any of these like databases, like your information. I would say, like, there are a couple, and I’ve seen where it’s like, you it’s like a real scholarship that they like have listed on there and they say apply through the website. I like would never apply through the website. I will, I would like look up the scholarship main long Google, and that would normally pull up the direct website.
So if it’s like, uh, like I’ve seen like ones that it’s like, like a loft. I have like some type of area and I’ll say apply, like, just look up the law firm and the word scholarship. And if it’s real, it’ll come up like the link to their page with the scholarship and that type of thing. And then I would fly on that.
So I wouldn’t give any money. I was just using this as like a jumping off point of places to look. And then I would go to the website to apply and look for more like concrete information, like the deadline and what you need to apply. Okay. We have a live. Um, yeah, a live question [00:45:00] in our Q and a tab. So what if you received the scholarship, but you haven’t finalized a school yet, but they want you to send it to the school.
So basically you received a scholarship. You haven’t chosen your college, but the person who’s awarding the scholarship. Once it’s sent into your school, what recommendations do you. I would just tell them, not saying like, I’m a senior high school. I haven’t finalized my college twice. I have to, like, you have to decide.
I’m pretty sure. But like May 1st, like universally, so you could tell them, I’ll have an answer for you by makers. Um, like, and if you have a quicker timeline, like saying like I’m working on deciding this next. You can let them know, but they should understand that like, uh, like you don’t actually have to have it like set in stone until May 1st, so they can wait until then.
And so it’s like the cancer, like it’s near you. Can’t use it until then anyways, so absolutely. Yep. They will. They’ll wait until you decide. Um, let’s see. Another question too.[00:46:00]
Any pointers for finding then need-based scholarships? Um, I would say, um, like for non-meat based ones, it’s just kind of, um, like looking into things like are more merit focus. So I would say, uh, like, like basically looking up things like, like attached to license to a merit. So if you look up things, I think that are like more attached to like.
They think it’s about you like, like ethnicity based scholarships, you might end up finding more like a need based ones, but then if you look up things like, uh, scholarships for people who are involved in like boy Scouts or something like that, that’s where I’ll tend to find more. Um, I feel like. Merit once it’s like the purposes, like the activity or like the qualification of like you doing something rather than like who you like inherently are some kind of quality about you that you can have control.
So that would my only point of advice for that. But other than that, it’s just covering the requirements and seeing like, does it consider need or not? Cause like some of the ones that you would think like shouldn’t consider need do and vice versa, you [00:47:00] would think like, Consider neat. And it doesn’t at all.
So, and then, um, someone asked around like, can I get a scholarship if I’ve taken college level coursework? Yeah. And I would definitely say that’s something you want to come to, like highlight on there, like saying like I’ve done dual enrollment and that kind of thing. It’s always like a good thing too.
Okay. And then just lastly, just reiterate, just like maybe your go-to websites. Cause that question just came up a lot. Um, when it repeat, I would say Google is my go-to website. Um, but then if you do want to do the database thing, like scholarships.com and FAFSA, I think were my favorites, so. Okay, great.
Awesome. Okay. Well let me move over to. Our next. So from here, thank you, Isabella, for sharing out all the information around finding and applying for [00:48:00] scholarships. Really great. Um, you share some really great information. I learned, you know, more about the. Scholarship application process. And I know that our participants did as well.
Um, so with that, that is going to conclude our webinar for this evening. We do have a series of webinars that are continuing for the month of December. So please check them out on the CollegeAdvisor website and with that everyone have a great evening. And thank you, Isabella.