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- How to win prestigious scholarships
- Frequently asked questions about prestigious scholarships
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How to win prestigious scholarships
If you’re looking into the most prestigious scholarship opportunities, you probably have been successful throughout high school. Odds are you have good grades and test scores that should help you to qualify for these opportunities. That’s great news, but remember, it’s only one part of the application. We’ve put together some tips to help you succeed in the other aspects of prestigious scholarship applications.
Remember, grades aren’t everything
When you submit your application, odds are that your transcript and/or GPA will be included in it. If you have a strong GPA, this is great news for your application. But remember – your GPA speaks for itself; use the rest of your application to highlight the other great things about you.
Try sitting down and making a list of all the things you’re proud of that you’ve accomplished. The accomplishments can range in formality, from winning an academic award to helping teach your younger sibling to read. Make use of this information to highlight your value beyond the number listed in your transcript! Many students earn great grades and test scores; you have to use your application to showcase what makes you unique.
Also see: What is a presidential scholarship?
Do your research
One great way to craft a successful scholarship application is to do some research on the mission of the organization offering the scholarship. Tailor each application to the organization you’re applying to. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time, but even some minor tweaks to your resume and essays can help make you stand out to the reviewer.
For example, if an organization focuses on working with youth, you should use your essay to discuss the time you volunteered at a summer camp rather than your winning science fair project. Showing that your interests align with theirs is always a great idea.
Apply far and wide
It’s extremely difficult to earn a prestigious scholarship; by nature, they are some of the hardest opportunities to earn out there. Even with a great application, stellar grades, and great test scores, odds are you’ll be rejected by more than a few opportunities.
Remember – a lot of the application process comes down to luck. You could write the best application in the world, but if the reviewer is having a bad day or not paying attention when they read it, you might not make it. On the flipside, if you write about an experience working as a cashier for a summer and your reviewer did the same thing in high school, they might champion your application and ensure you receive the scholarship.
You miss every shot you don’t take, and you lose every scholarship you don’t apply for! The more often you apply, the higher chance there is that you’ll win one of these prestigious scholarships. And don’t let the rejections get you down; the best thing to do is always to go out and keep trying.
Write great essays
Scholarship essays are a very particular form of writing, and it’s worthwhile to accustom yourself to this style in order to write effectively. We’ve put together guides on how to write an essay about yourself and how to start a scholarship essay to help you out. Here are a few additional guides that should come in handy:
- How to write a winning scholarship essay
- How to write a scholarship resume
- How to respond to a “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” prompt
- Tailoring your writing to a 250 or 500 word limit
- “Show, Don’t Tell” essay primer
Frequently asked questions about prestigious scholarships
What GPA do I need to win a prestigious scholarship?
There is no set GPA needed to win a prestigious scholarship. Each opportunity sets its own limits, and many have no formal GPA limit. Check out our list to browse your options!
Where can I find the most prestigious scholarships?
Our list compiles many of the most valuable prestigious scholarships. Also be sure to check in with your high school counselor to see if there are any local scholarships worth applying for!
Additional scholarship categories to explore
- Top scholarships for high school seniors
- Top community service scholarships
- Easy scholarships to apply for
- Top scholarships for women
- Top full ride scholarships
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