Tips on Applying for Scholarships

Every Ventures Scholar should apply for scholarships! Here are some helpful web sites that provide you with important information:


Scholarship Basics
Scholarships, as their name implies, reward students who have distinguished themselves academically by paying for some or all of their college costs. Scholarships are also one way colleges attract the most desirable students.

Using Scholarship Money: What's Allowed?
Almost all college scholarships are intended to pay for at least part of your tuition and other college expenses, at least for your freshman year. If they're renewable, scholarships can pay for up to four years of these costs. Many scholarships award money for college-related expenses other than tuition, such as books, computers, supplies, and study-abroad stipends.

Unusual Scholarships
You may have heard that there's a scholarship for everybody and everything. That's not entirely true, but almost. There are hundreds of different scholarship criteria for the scholarships in our Scholarship Finder, and all of them ask that you have at least one of those criteria to be considered for the award.

Scholarships with Strings Attached
Most scholarships are awarded based on past criteria: your grades in high school, your standardized test scores, your accomplishments. Renewable scholarships require you to "keep up the good work" by continuing to do well academically in college. But some scholarships have future requirements: your agreement to perform some service, work, project or other obligation after graduation from college. If you don't fulfill your end of the bargain you will be required to return the scholarship money. Probably the most well known of these types of scholarships are the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) awards, which require military service for several years after graduation.

Your Major Matters
Many scholarships specify a major as one requirement. For example, there are scholarships for such majors as "computer science," "art therapy," "marketing," "petroleum engineering," "journalism," "music education," "oceanography" and "acting."

Get the Score on Athletic Scholarships
Colleges on the whole seek out and reward academic achievement in admissions as well as for scholarships. Some colleges also reward athletic ability as much as, if not more than, academic accomplishment. Part of the reason, of course, is the acclaim and resulting financial support a winning team can bring to a college. But ideally, part of the reason is also to show that jocks deserve a good education, just like everybody else.

Renewable vs. Nonrenewable: An Important Distinction
About one quarter of the scholarships in the Collegedata Scholarship Database are renewable, meaning students are eligible to receive the scholarship for more than one year only if they continue to make satisfactory academic progress or meet other requirements and reapply. Conversely, close to three quarters of the scholarships are not renewable. They are available fewer than four years of college, whether it be for Freshman year alone which is most common or for one or more of the later years.

The Bottom Line: How Much Can You Get?
Many students extend the idea of shopping around for the lowest price on something to shopping around for the biggest scholarship or the most scholarships they can get. This is certainly understandable, because the more and bigger scholarships you win, the less you may have to borrow or pay out of pocket. Although you cannot receive aid in excess of the cost of attendance, even if you qualify for additional scholarship money, it makes sense to research as many scholarships as you can ahead of time, to see if you'd be eligible and how and when to apply when the time comes.


We know that the path to success in earning scholarships has approximately three parts.

What Do Selection Committees Look For?
Most scholarship selection committees look to reward well-rounded, active, and accomplished students.

Applying for Scholarships
When applying for a scholarship you will often need to write a letter directly to the administrator to request more information, an application form, or simply tell them a bit about yourself. This is a great opportunity to show the administrator why you are the best candidate for their scholarship. Take some time to make this letter as clear, concise and informative as possible.

List of Documents
Applying for scholarships can be a real hassle if you are not prepared. This is a list of documents that you may need in addition to the scholarship applications. Some applications may require only part of the list, but if you fill out applications for all of the local scholarships, you will need all of the listed items

Scholarship Tips
You will find some useful scholarship application tips in this article.

How to Apply for a Scholarship - The Money Is There, But You Have to Ask for It

The scholarship application process is very similar to the college application process. First, you filter a large list of possible choices into a focused list that matches you. Then you create compelling applications that are supported by your achievements, essays, recommendations, and interviews. Here are some tips to help you create strong scholarship applications.

How To Apply for Scholarships
Welcome to Scholarship Application Tips, where we highlight five areas you should focus on when applying for HSF scholarships or other scholarship programs.

Sample Scholarship Inquiry Letter
This letter provides a sample format for inquiring about private student aid funds.

The Merit of National Merit Scholarships
There is only one way to start the process of applying for a National Merit Scholarship. That's to take the Preliminary SAT, or PSAT, in October of your junior year of high school. Over a million other juniors will be taking this three-part test around the same time. About 50,000 of the highest-scoring test takers will go on to the next step.

How to Apply for a Scholarship-The Money Is There, But You Have to Ask for It
The scholarship application process is very similar to the college application process. First, you filter a large list of possible choices into a focused list that matches you. Then you create compelling applications that are supported by your achievements, essays, recommendations, and interviews. Here are some tips to help you create strong scholarship applications.

Let Others Pay the Way: Apply for Scholarships

If you're truly needy, truly exceptional, or perhaps just truly lucky, your financial aid package may include federal and school-based grants or scholarships. Federal financial aid is limited, so college-bound students are wise to apply for as many forms of private funding as possible. The more outside scholarship applications you submit, the better your chances are of receiving some additional funding to help supplement your family's resources.


Writing Your Scholarship Application Essays
Take the outline and begin with the first sentence (which is the most difficult) and then just write to include everything you think is important. Don't worry about the length of the essay at this point. Use your outline as a guide.

Scholarship Essay Samples
The Admissions Essay Prep Leader shares essay writing strategies and samples that will help you gain entrance to your first choice business school. For more free essay writing advice and for help with your admissions essay, visit .

Writing the Scholarship Essay
The personal essay. It's the hardest part of your scholarship application. But it's also the part of the application where the 'real you' can shine through.


Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation show that people in your life respect your skills and accomplishments and are willing to say so in writing and sign their names. That's actually quite wonderful. This page talks about how to obtain the best letters of recommendation you can in as painless a way as possible.

What Others Say About You Does Matter
College students spend a lot of time getting to know themselves. Many like to think of themselves as true "individuals" doing their own thing. Whether they dye their hair purple, or wear the same pair of shorts three years in a row, students like to be themselves (I've even had the same grungy hat on for the last four years).


Scholarship Scams
Every year, several hundred thousand students and parents are defrauded by scholarship scams. The victims of these scams lose more than $100 million annually. Scam operations often imitate legitimate government agencies, grant-giving foundations, education lenders and scholarship matching services, using official-sounding names containing words like "National," "Federal," "Foundation," or "Administration."

Scholarship Scams
Need Money for College? Doesn't everybody? Unfortunately, in their efforts to pay the bills, many students and their families are falling prey to scholarship scams.

What is a Scholarship Scam?
How can you tell a scholarship scam?

Scholarship Scams
Scholarship search services and financial aid advice services are common these days. Unfortunately, too many of these for-profit companies charge high rates to provide information that can be found elsewhere for free.


© 2006 Ventures In Education, Inc.