steps for getting a college scholarship

Posted : November 3, 2001
Last Updated : July 8, 2020

steps for getting a college scholarship

Start Early

  • If possible, start the process at least two years before you need the gift aid.
  • Always remember that you will be applying for college scholarships about a year before you will actually receive the gift aid.
  • Get good grades.

Prepare Yourself

  • Often, college scholarships are awarded to students who are involved in activities both in school and out of school. Well-rounded students have the best chance of receiving college scholarships.
  • Many clubs and organizations have scholarships associated with them. Doing your research in the beginning may help you obtain more scholarships.

Do Research

  • Figure out what makes you a special individual. This may include academics, volunteer work, athletics or your family background.
  • Consider unique circumstances or conditions that might make you eligible for gift aid, such as being a foster child, having asthma, being a single parent or having a disability.
  • College scholarship opportunities can be found in many places including financial aid offices, libraries, local civic organizations, your (or your parents') employer, local businesses, your high school guidance office, or the Internet. Be sure to register for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship from eCampusTours.

Obtain Scholarship Applications and Scholarship Information

  • After you collect all of the information about the college scholarships for which you are interested in applying, you will need to contact the organization.
  • Some organizations will require that you contact them through the mail or via phone or email to request scholarship applications and other pertinent scholarship information. For most organizations, you will be able to download the scholarship applications and other information from their website, or you will be able to complete the scholarship application form online.
  • Give the organization ample time to send you the necessary paperwork. Be aware of all deadlines associated with applying.


  • Many organizations require information such as a completed scholarship application, an essay, recommendations, and/or a resume from each applicant. Make sure you have given yourself plenty of time to gather all of the required information.
  • Most college scholarships will have deadlines for applying. You may want to keep a calendar with all of the deadlines listed so that you do not let any expire.
  • Before you send in your completed scholarship application, make sure to double-check the spelling and grammar. Nothing looks worse on a scholarship application than a common spelling error.
  • Remember that the scholarship application process takes time, and it could be months before you are notified of any awards. Be aware that some organizations will not send any follow-up correspondence if you do not receive the award.
  • Always put your best effort into each application. Be neat and organized. First impressions count.

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