How to get more scholarships
Updated: May 19
Guest post by Blaine Blontz
Getting more money is generally a good thing, especially when it comes to paying for college.
Nowadays, there are so many different ways to make a living, but it can still be difficult to figure out what to do.
And that can certainly be the case when it comes to college scholarships as well.
Here are a few strategies to successfully find college scholarships.
But first, let’s define scholarships.
What is a scholarship?
Generally, a scholarship is an award presented to a student based on their merit.
As a result, it’s common for schools to refer to these awards as merit-based scholarships.
These tend to be awarded by the admissions office of the college or university.
They are based on information including but not limited to the student’s test scores, GPA, extra-curricular activities, and more.
Scholarships tend to be renewed year over year at the same rate if the student can maintain certain criteria.
For example, some schools require students to meet a GPA requirement as well as remain registered as a full-time student to qualify for the scholarship.
Institutional scholarships vs. outside scholarships
Institutional scholarships are scholarships provided by colleges and universities to encourage students to attend, and they must be used at the awarding institution.
Outside scholarships are awarded by a range of companies and organizations.
In most cases, outside scholarships can be used at any college or university, but for universities abroad, you would need to check this on a case by case basis.
How do you get institutional scholarships?
A majority of institutional scholarships are applied for simply by submitting the college application.
The school will use that information to determine if the student qualifies.
Sometimes, schools will require additional forms, essays, or other requirements for scholarship consideration.
For example, a music scholarship could require an audition.
A community service scholarship could require an essay on a student’s experience serving their community.
How do you get outside scholarships?
Outside scholarships can come from a range of sources locally, regionally and nationally.
It’s helpful for students to try to identify areas that make them stand out.
The more you can separate yourself from a general applicant, the less competition you face and the better your odds of receiving a scholarship.
However, know that if you are only applying to the large, no-application-required scholarships, you are competing against a HUGE crowd of students.
A good rule of thumb is this: the more defined you can get in your scholarship search, and the more intensive the application, the fewer applicants you are likely to be competing against.
There is a lot to be gained from Blaine Blontz's free general financial aid advice, but it’s also a very individual process. If you have remaining financial aid questions, email him to discuss more or book an individual session.