Money, Scholarships

The Ultimate Scholarship Game Plan

Comments Off on The Ultimate Scholarship Game Plan 22 February 2018


The world of scholarships can feel overwhelming — I mean, there are entire databases, as in multiple, all focusing just on listing opportunities for students to take advantage of. Ya know, like what we do here.

Honestly, it’s a great thing. It helps spread knowledge of scholarships far and wide, offering that many more chances for students to see them. Scholarships are a totally underrated way to save some money on college — they can actually make postsecondary education accessible, which is huge!

The Hardest Part is Getting Started

Isn’t it always, though? If you’re having a hard time getting your rear in gear, I have a surefire way to make the scholarship hunt easier for you: play to your strengths.

I mean that quite literally — there are scholarships out there for everything. It’s just a matter of finding them, which is how we at College Greenlight are going to help you. Fill out as much of the information on your profile as possible to experience the highest level of scholarship matching available.

For instance, if you perform well academically, that’s fantastic! Enter your GPA and test scores and watch your match list get longer. There are so many scholarships that you can take advantage of, a number of which don’t even require an essay.

On the other hand, school doesn’t have to be your best asset. There are scholarships out there for gamers, singers, artists, writers, and a whole host of other talents. What do you look forward to doing? Whether it be an extracurricular or a hobby, pick the thing you love and apply for a scholarship rewarding that. It’ll put a positive spin on the process that may be lacking from academically-geared scholarships.

The Home Advantage

Once you’ve found your thing, approach it logically. By that, I mostly mean approach it locally.

Here’s how scholarships work: nationwide ones are enticing. They often offer a decent chunk of change for your efforts and the competitions are cool; there’s really no denying that. The downside of nationwide scholarships is in the name: nationwide. The whole country is vying for that pot of gold.

Local scholarships are the true goldmine. They’re typically restricted to within a certain township or county, which definitely reduces the competition. Hey, it’s not that I don’t think you could win those nationwide ones, you should definitely apply, but it’s an odds game. Your odds of raking in $1,000 here or $500 there are exponentially higher if your pool of competitors is smaller.

Finding local scholarships is a lot easier than it sounds, too. You can find a number of them here, on the College Greenlight website, and you can also find them on your local community foundation page. Before you groan, all you have to do is go to Google and type in the name of your city or county plus “Community Foundation” and you’ll be there.

I promise.

The Most Underrated Resource

It’s your guidance counselor. Yes, the most underused, underappreciated asset you have when playing the scholarship game is in the same building as you at least 40 hours a week.

Take a moment to process that and then schedule an appointment to chit-chat. They’ll whip out their secret binder or open up their classified google doc that’s actually available to anyone who asks, and they’ll have you set up with a top-notch list tout suite!  

Arm Yourself!

I’m a big fan of setting yourself up to win. It’s kind of like laying out your clothes for school the night before or putting your doctor’s appointment into your phone calendar and setting an alarm for an hour before. Preparing yourself for success is a lot like sending a love letter to future-you—these little actions are ultimately invaluable to executing a smooth morning routine or actually showing up to get your teeth cleaned. And, as a bonus, they’re usually pretty easy.

You can thank past-you later.

When it comes to scholarships, it’s easy to arm yourself with the best possible information simply by checking out who earned the money previously. Yep. That’s really the secret. Scope out the credentials of previous winners and see what judges prized most about their academics, extracurriculars, hobbies, community service, and more.

Now you can confidently get started on your scholarship application, fully prepped and armed to the nines!

Just a Few More Words Before We Part…

Scholarships really can make going to college more accessible. You and some friends should band together and keep eyes and ears out for opportunities. Proofread each other’s papers, and don’t forget that you can (and should) reuse high school papers that you’ve already written. They have a professional stamp of approval already!

Alright. I’m going to let you all go now. Fare thee well on your hunt for scholarships! We, here at College Greenlight, will happily aid and abet your mission in any way we can!

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