Dream Project

Ten things to remember when applying for scholarships

  1. Sign up for an account with theWashBoard.org
    • Check for new scholarship opportunities at least twice a week
    • Update profile at least once every three weeks
    • Read through the resources provided on applications to financial aid
  2. Develop a commendable academic record
    • Maintain good grades, but you don’t have to have a 4.0 to win scholarships
    • Study for SAT/ACT exams
    • Attend all your classes and participate actively
  3. Be involved in school activities and community service
    • Join clubs and activities that you are passionate about and become an active participant
    • Assume leadership roles and exercise leadership skills in activities
    • Commit to helping your community by volunteering locally
  4. Get started early
    • Begin applications as early as possible either online or on paper
    • Fill out a personal data form and give to teachers or counselors at least four weeks in advance for letters of recommendation and make sure to follow up on their progress
    • Request official or unofficial transcripts in advance if necessary
  5. Set goals
    • Commit to applying for a certain number of scholarships and give yourself deadlines
    • Constantly update your goals
    • Don’t hesitate to dream big and work towards achieving your goals
  6. Diversify your scholarship portfolio
    • Apply for local and national scholarships
    • Check with your career center advisor for local and national scholarships weekly
    • Avoid only applying for large, national scholarships because several small scholarships can add up
  7. Create a timeline and constantly update it
    • List your top scholarships from your WashBoard results by deadline
    • Give yourself dates by which to finish essays, forms, teacher recommendations, etc.
    • Set up reminders (i.e. post-it notes, email notifications, calendar entries) so you don’t forget any due dates
  8. Tell your story effectively
    • Be genuine and honest in telling your story so that your essay portrays you accurately
    • Appeal to the judges and grab their attention
    • Know your audience (avoid slang and being too informal)
  9. Make a copy of all applications and submitted documents for your personal file
    • Maintain a scholarship portfolio or file with copies of your applications, consider using Dropbox or Google Drive for electronic copies
    • Use completed forms as templates for other scholarship applications
    • Reuse essays with similar prompts and questions by morphing it to fit the scholarship
  10. Give 100% effort in applying for a scholarship
    • Ask teachers, parents, and peers to read over your essays and then edit and revise as needed
    • Fill in the application neatly and completely
    • Double check application information and correct any grammatical or spelling errors