1. APPLY FOR LOCAL SCHOLARSHIPS
Many communities offer local scholarships through clubs, organizations, small businesses, and benefactors. The odds of winning these scholarships are greater because they’re open to a smaller group of students.
2. APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS WITH SMALLER AWARDS
Many students look for scholarships that offer the biggest bucks — but those are also the most competitive. Scholarships with smaller awards usually have fewer applicants, so your chances of winning may be higher. These scholarships can help with college costs like books, supplies, and living expenses. Paying off those smaller expenses can quickly add up to big savings.
3. MORE WORK = FEWER APPLICANTS = BETTER CHANCES
Many students avoid scholarships that require a lot of work, such as essays, videos, and projects. As a result, the applicant pool is much smaller, which means greater chances for you. Scholarships with essays over 1,000 words often have fewer than 500 applicants, compared to the 5,000 students who enter easier scholarships.
4. GET PERSONAL
Instead of burning yourself out applying for every scholarship you qualify for, have some fun! Apply for scholarships that fit your interests and that you’ll enjoy. The more personal the scholarship, the more likely your passion will show through, resulting in a better submission.
5. DON’T REPEAT THE ESSAY PROMPT
No one wants to reread the same sentence hundreds of times a day. Be original! Use the beginning of your essay to showcase your personality and set yourself apart from the crowd. Try starting your essay by setting the scene for a story or jumping directly into your answer.
6. DON’T USE QUOTES
Your essay should be about you. The best essays are unique and stand out from the competition, so be original and use your own words.
7. SATISFY ALL THE REQUIREMENTS
You can write the best essay in the world, but if the prompt asks for a list of five things, and you only list four, you may be disqualified. Make sure you answer every question and accurately meet every requirement.
8. STICK TO THE WORD LIMIT
Get as close to the word limit as you can, but don’t go over. Exceeding the word limit may disqualify you.
Spelling and grammar mistakes may get you disqualified. Make sure to proofread your essay at least twice and ask your parents and friends to look it over, too. The more eyes, the better.
10. SUBMIT EARLY
Don’t wait until the due date, just in case there’s a problem with the site, the Internet connection, or your computer.
Here’s a partial list of the major scholarship programs in our region:
1) Tobacco Region Loan Forgiveness Program (www.ticscholarshiploan.org) — The program awards forgivable loans of up to $2000 per academic year for Southern Virginia residents pursuing bachelor’s degrees. Upon graduation, a student is eligible for one year of loan forgiveness for every year s/he lives and/or works in Southern Virginia. Both traditional and non-traditional age students are eligible.
2) JT-Minnie Maude Charitable Trust (www.jtmm.org) — The JT-Minnie Maude Charitable Trust awards more than $1 million in scholarship funds annually to students living in Martinsville/Henry County, Danville/Pittsylvania County, and Rockingham and Caswell Counties, NC. Scholarships are renewable, and awards range from $750 to $7500 per year. Both traditional and non-traditional age students are eligible. Scholarships are available for students pursuing certificates, bachelor’s degrees, or master’s degrees.
The J.T.-Minnie Maude Charitable Trust reminds nontraditional students who reside in Martinsville and Henry County that the deadline for applying for one of its annual scholarships is October 1, 2020. Visit www.jtmm.org for scholarship guidelines, instructions and how to apply.
3) Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia
( www.cfwesternva.org) — The Community Foundation awards more than $200,000 annually with priority given to residents of Martinsville/Henry County. Both traditional and non-traditional age students are eligible. Scholarships are available for students pursuing certificates, bachelor’s degrees, or master’s degrees.
4) Hughes Memorial Foundation (www.hughesmemorialfoundation.org) — The Hughes Memorial Foundation awards several hundred thousand dollars in scholarship funds each year to associate and bachelor’s degree students living in Southern Virginia and neighboring counties in North Carolina. Awards are made only to traditional-age students and are renewable.
5) New College Foundation (www.ncfmhc.org)- The New College Foundation makes available more than $50,000 in scholarships for students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs offered by New College Institute.
6) Patrick Henry Community College Foundation( www.patrickhenry.edu) — The Patrick Henry Community College Foundation provides scholarships to PHCC students from its numerous endowed funds.
7) Danville Community College Foundation (www.danville.edu) — The Danville Community College Foundation provides scholarships to DCC students from its numerous endowed funds.
8) Harvest SEED (www.patrickhenry.edu/seed) — With generous funding by The Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont, all graduating high school students, GED recipients, and homeschool completers in Martinsville/Henry County are now eligible for up to two years of free tuition at Patrick Henry Community College.
Study.com is offering comprehensive financial aid and scholarship guides for college students.
They’ve created an in-depth, expert-verified Guide to FAFSA and Financial Aid and also published a number of comprehensive scholarship guides to help all students in their journey to gaining a degree:
- Scholarship Guide for Hispanic and Latino Students
- Scholarship Guide for LGBTQ Students
- Scholarship Guide for Students of Color