Scores Open Doors to Scholarships.
At APlus Test Prep, we encourage our students to “turn scores into scholarships!” Earning an outstanding ACT or SAT score, however, is just one part of the process. If you’re hoping to earn college scholarships, read on to get started on the path to paying for college!
WHEN SHOULD I GET STARTED?
You can start the research process anytime (and the earlier, the better!), although most scholarships require that you least be a senior when you actually apply. JUNIORS can begin competing for National Merit Scholarships by taking the PSAT during October of their junior year.
For MERIT-BASED SCHOLARSHIPS, students must meet certain criteria set by the scholarship provider. These criteria may included GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums. Some scholarships require students to write essays and/or complete certain community service. Athletic scholarships are merit-based scholarships that require students to demonstrate prowess in a particular sport. NEED-BASED SCHOLARSHIPS require that students demonstrate financial need.
SEARCH FOR SCHOLARSHIPS.
Start your scholarship search by first finding out what scholarships are offered directly by the colleges and universities you’re applying to. Begin your search on the university’s website. We’ve listed several good search tools on the resources page to help you get started. You can also check out our list of scholarships. Other resources helping in finding scholarship information include your guidance/college/ counselor at school; religious, community, and civic organizations; professional organizations related to the career you’re interested in; and your library’s reference section. Your parents’ employer (and yours, if you have a job) may also be scholarship resources.
COMPLETE THE SCHOLARSHIP WORKSHEET
Record information about each scholarship you find and the requirements of each. (Download the scholarship worksheet.) Use the worksheet to organize info about requirements, etc. Begin to think about which scholarships you’re most interested in, most eligible for, etc. Most importantly, pay attention to the application deadlines.
USE THE SCHOLARSHIP WORKSHEET.
Use the worksheet to map out your application process. Which scholarships are worth the most? Which scholarships are the easiest to apply for? Which ones are renewable from year-to-year (and which are good for one time only)? Once you prioritize the scholarships that you’re most likely to apply for, are most eligible for, and are most interested in, PRIORITIZE ACCORDING TO DEADLINES.
APPLY AND BE SURE TO SUBMIT ALL REQUIREMENTS!
If SAT and ACT scores must be submitted, be sure you’ve earned the needed scores in time to apply before the deadline. If you have to write an essay for the application, start early enough so that you’ll have time to write and edit several drafts. Don’t reuse essays unless the essays specifically address the prompt. Will you need a recommendation? Be sure to ask WAY IN ADVANCE the person writing the recommendation and communicate what elements the recommendation must address.