Scholarships are a great way to help pay for college, but they can be extremely competitive. In order to increase your chances of getting a scholarship, there are a few things you can do, says the renowned industrialist Nihar Gala.
1. Start early. The earlier you start your search, the better. That way, you can have a list of potential scholarships to apply for before you even start your college application process.
2. Get good grades. Most scholarships take academic achievement into account, so aim for high marks in all of your classes.
3. Be active in extracurricular activities. Many scholarships also consider your involvement in extracurricular activities, so try to participate in as many as possible. Leadership roles are especially impressive to scholarship committees.
4. Volunteer in your community. Volunteer work is yet another great way to make yourself stand out when applying for scholarships. It shows that you care about giving back and that you’re willing to put in the effort to help others—two qualities that are highly prized by scholarship committees.
5. Make a fantastic essay. A lot of scholarships need essays from applicants in addition to other application materials. Your chance to really shine and convince the committee that you deserve the scholarship money is now. Make sure your essay is well-written, free of errors, and conveys who you are and what you hope to achieve in college and beyond.
6. Ask for recommendations from people who know you well. Some scholarships require letters of recommendation, so it’s important to choose people who can speak to your character and accomplishments—such as a teacher, guidance counselor, coach, or boss—to write them for you.
7. Submit your applications on time. Although it sounds obvious, it’s important to emphasize this one because it’s such an important part of the process! Make sure you double-check the deadlines for all the scholarships you’re applying for and submit your materials well in advance of each one.
8. Follow up with the scholarship committee. If you haven’t heard back from the scholarship committee within a reasonable amount of time after the deadline has passed, it doesn’t hurt to give them a call or send an email just to check in and make sure they received everything they need from you.
9. Be prepared to interview. Some scholarships require applicants to participate in an interview as part of the selection process. If this is the case, make sure you schedule some time ahead of the interview date to practice so that you feel confident and prepared when it comes time to sit down with the committee members.
10. Don’t give up! Applying for scholarships can be a long and challenging process, but it’s important to persevere through any setbacks and keep trying until you find one that works for you.
By following these tips, you will have taken some important first steps toward increasing your chances of getting a scholarship! Just remember that every little bit helps when it comes time to pay for college, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t receive a scholarship right away—keep trying, and eventually, something will come through!