Scholarships are competitive, and becoming even more so as the cost of college continues to rise. With the pool becoming more and more crowded, here are some ways you can help your child stand out from the pack:
Read the Fine Print
Before you and your child spend any time on a scholarship application, make sure it’s one that you qualify for in the first place. Scholarships often have specific requirements, and people who do not meet them are automatically disqualified. Invest a little time at the beginning of the process to avoid wasting time on an unnecessary application.
Be Open and Honest
Scholarship applications are filled with essays that tell the reader what they want to hear, rather than giving an honest portrayal of the applicant. Letting your child’s true colors show will help their application stand out in readers’ minds and help them feel like they are making a personal connection.
Those connections make it much easier for scholarship awarding organizations to feel good about choosing someone for an award — they come away with a true sense of who the money is benefitting.
Track Essays and Recommendations
Missing just one deadline or one part of an application can be enough to disqualify your child. One way to help prevent that is to help create a spreadsheet or another tracking system to make sure that everything is submitted on time. Creating a system for organizing applications will make sure that doesn’t happen. It also provides a good model for your child to follow one day.
The scholarship application process is a lesson in the notion that you can’t always get what you want. This might be one of the first times that your child has ever been denied something that they want.
How you handle that situation will greatly inform their reaction to it, so try to stay positive and encourage them to keep moving forward rather than feeling upset or frustrated with themselves.