Updated: May 30
As a high school student, preparing to apply for college and for those coveted scholarships can be a daunting task. However, with proper planning and preparation, you can increase your chances of being accepted into your dream school and receiving financial aid and scholarships. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Focus on your grades
Grades are a critical component of college admissions and scholarships. Admissions officers and scholarship committees will want to see that you have a strong academic record. This means that you should prioritize your studies and aim for the highest grades possible. Take challenging courses, such as Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and seek help from your teachers or tutors if needed.
2. Get involved in extracurricular activities
Extracurricular activities, such as sports, clubs, volunteering, and part-time jobs, can demonstrate your leadership, teamwork, and time-management skills. Colleges and scholarship providers are looking for well-rounded students who have made an impact in their communities. Find activities that align with your interests and passions, and commit to them consistently.
3. Take standardized tests seriously
Standardized tests, such as the SAT and ACT, are used by many colleges and scholarship providers to evaluate applicants. These tests can be challenging, but with proper preparation, you can achieve a high score. Consider taking a prep course or working with a tutor to improve your test-taking skills.
4. Research colleges and scholarships
Before applying to colleges and scholarships, do your research. Look for schools that match your academic interests, location preferences, and financial needs. Similarly, search for scholarships that align with your interests, background, and accomplishments. Use online resources, such as CollegeBoard and Fastweb, to find potential options.
What did I do? I Googled: "College scholarships for women," and stumbled across the Miss America Organization. The rest is history! So, if you are a young woman seeking scholarships, I cannot recommend the Miss America Organization enough. It has changed my life for the better and helped me pay down close to $10,000 in student loans and counting.
5. Write a strong application essay
Your application essay is your opportunity to showcase your personality, goals, and experiences. A well-written essay can make you stand out from other applicants and demonstrate your writing skills. Take time to brainstorm ideas, organize your thoughts, and revise your essay multiple times. Ask for feedback from your teachers, counselors, or trusted adults.
6. Apply early
Many colleges and scholarship programs have early application deadlines. Applying early can give you an advantage over other applicants and increase your chances of acceptance. Make sure to check the application deadlines and requirements for each school and scholarship, and plan accordingly.
In conclusion, preparing for college admissions and scholarships requires dedication, hard work, and strategic planning. By focusing on your grades, extracurricular activities, standardized tests, research, essay, and application timeline, you can position yourself for success. Remember to stay organized, ask for help when needed, and stay true to yourself. Good luck on your college journey!