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How to Create a Scholarship List ✅

4 min readaugust 9, 2021

sitara_h

Sitara H


How to Search for Scholarships for College 🔍

Types of Scholarships for High Schoolers🎓

Some scholarships are merit-based, which means you can earn them by meeting specific standards set by those who award the scholarship. Some are based on academic prowess, but some are merit scholarships given out for specific extracurricular activities or sports or a combination of many different qualifications. Often, students submit an application with an essay, letter of recommendation, etc. (or any materials that prove your excellence in a particular field!) to these scholarships. After the deadline passes, the organizers will pick a certain number of people to give the scholarship to who have fulfilled the conditions in the best way possible. Scholarships can be available for both high school seniors and high school juniors, and sometimes younger, but make sure to check the requirements to make sure you can qualify. Check out some of the top national scholarships that are available.
Other need-based scholarships are based on financial need. These tend to be given out based on your family’s yearly income or other financial information that you would provide in your application. Check out how to calculate financial need for more information.

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Are You Eligible? 🤔

Many scholarships are also explicitly designated for particular groups of people! For example, there are scholarships specifically for women in STEM, military families, high school seniors, high school juniors, etc. Ensure to check for any conditions to confirm your eligibility before you apply for these types of scholarships!

How to Find Scholarships 🕵️‍♀️🕵️‍♂️

One of the best and easiest ways to earn scholarships is to search for local ones specific to your city/community. You can do this by asking your high school counselor for information, checking your local library, or inquiring at local businesses! There are always fewer applicants to local scholarships because fewer people know about them, which can help raise your chances of winning! For more information check out this article on how to complete a college scholarship search.
Note: There are a lot of websites also meant to help you organize your scholarship search! Make sure the scholarships you apply for are only from legitimate sites and remember that you should never have to pay to apply for any type of scholarship, whether need-based or merit-based.
Here are some of our favorite websites: 

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Organizing your Resources 🗄️

Creating a Spreadsheet 📝

First of all, make sure you are fully eligible for every scholarship you apply to! These applications often take a lot of time, so don’t waste time applying for scholarships that your GPA/major/test scores, etc. don’t meet the qualifications for. 
After compiling your complete list of scholarships, separate the scholarships you’ve already applied for from the scholarships you would like to apply for in the future! Again, it’s important to keep track of your due dates, award totals, any external materials you might have to submit (essays, resumes, etc.), and your notes all in one place.
While you can organize this any way you’d like, a spreadsheet or some sort of online database is great for this! Check out this scholarship search tracker article that goes into more detail. But a basic one could look like this:
Scholarship Name
A
B
URL
--
--
Deadline
9/1/2021
9/1/2021
Award Total
$1000
$500
Submission Materials Required
Resume
Essay #1
Recommendation Letter #1
Notes
--
Ask Teacher  #1 for a recommendation letter! 
Application Status
Applied
Interested in Applying

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Prioritizing Your Applications 🌟

It’s a good idea to organize your scholarships by relevance too. Consider the deadlines for each scholarship, the difficulty of submitting this application (are there a lot of materials to submit? Do you have time to gather them all before the deadline?), and the award amount. But keep in mind, every little bit does help towards paying for college, and you also have a higher chance at receiving smaller awards because they are less competitive by nature! 
Note: A lot of scholarships that require you to submit an essay will have similar-sounding prompts, so it’s a good idea to keep all of your scholarship essays in one place so that you can refer back to them when writing. You might even be able to apply to multiple scholarships with the same essay if the stars align! If you do this though, make sure you don’t forget to change the name of the scholarship in your essay. These essays can also be similar to your college application essays, so check out some example scholarship and college essays for extra help.

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Final Scholarship Thoughts 🤓

When looking into scholarships, it’s important for you to organize your applications to keep all your information in the same place! This process can get complex really fast as you have to write multiple essays and keep track of different deadlines. However, using a spreadsheet or some sort of template to stay organized will go a long way over time! Figuring out how to pay for college can be a real hassle, but every little bit counts. Check out this guide on financial aid and how to calculate your financial need for more help. Good luck! ☄

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