Crush your applications with our quick, easy tips.
When planning out how you're going to pay for college, scholarships should be at the top of your list. From athletic-based scholarships to ones that focus on your planned area of study, there are thousands of scholarships to apply for.
But how do you ensure you submit a winning application? Check out our quick list of scholarship do's and don't to crush your applications.
DON'T wait until the last minute
Although it's easy to push scholarship applications to the end of your to-do list, avoid waiting until the last minute. Some applications require transcripts or letters of recommendations making it essential to give yourself enough time to gather all of the required elements.
Plus – you can start applying for some scholarships as early as your freshman year of high school.
DO take the time to write a good essay
When a scholarship application requires an essay, it's typically the most important part of your application. Make sure to include an introduction, body, and conclusion and check for grammar and punctuation errors. For an extra eye, have your parent or guidance counselor proofread your essay before you click apply.
DON'T only apply for big scholarships
Even though it's tempting to apply for only big scholarships, winning multiple smaller ones can add up quickly. Remember – free college money is the best money, regardless of the amount.
DO add a personal story to your scholarship essay
Depending on the size of the scholarship, some can have thousands of applicants. To stand out among the crowd, add a personal story, funny quote, or a unique answer to the question.
DON'T become discouraged if you don't win right away
As you apply for scholarships, it's important to remember that you won't win every one you apply for. Don't be discouraged, and keep applying. Search for new scholarships weekly and apply for as many as you're eligible for to increase your chance.
DO use USC Credit Union's Scholarship Search Tool
Finding scholarships can be a long and daunting process. Use our Scholarship Search Tool to search from over 3.5 million scholarships in one easy place. Create a unique profile and enjoy instant access to a customized list of scholarships you're eligible for based on your interests, future career goals, and area of study.