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  • Adrienne Frumberg

How to Tackle the Scholarship Application Process for Seniors

As a high school senior, you're likely already thinking about the costs of college, or your parents have been talking about it since you started high school. One of the best ways to manage college expenses is by applying for scholarships! However, the scholarship search process can be overwhelming, especially when you're already busy with classes, activities, sports, and being a senior in high school. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the scholarship search process: 

1. Start early: Don't wait until the last minute to start your scholarship search and application process. Start researching scholarships as soon as possible, ideally in your junior year of high school. This will give you ample time to find and apply for as many scholarships as possible. It's a numbers game; the more you apply to, the greater your odds are of being awarded one!

2. Research scholarship opportunities: There are many different types of scholarships available, including those based on academic achievements, your family background, what you’d like to study, community service, and so much more. You can use scholarship websites and online databases to find opportunities that match your interests and qualifications. There are so many out there, and there isn’t one I like best. That said, I have had students use Niche, Cappex, and CollegeaBoard. If you are a student with a disability, I've referred students to: Additionally, check with your school guidance office or college advisor for local scholarship opportunities within your community. 

3. Organize your applications: Keep track of scholarship requirements and deadlines in a spreadsheet or planner. Make sure to note any essays or other materials required for the application, and create a schedule to ensure you have enough time to complete each application. I have students use a google sheet to track their progress and set manageable deadlines that do not interfere with school work.

4. Write a strong essay: Many scholarships require an essay as part of the application. Take the time to write a strong essay that showcases your strengths and accomplishments. Make sure to proofread your essay thoroughly and have someone else review it as well. 

5. Submit your applications: Once you've completed your applications, submit them well before the deadline. Follow all instructions carefully and include any required documents or materials. 

6. Follow up: After you've submitted your applications, follow up with the scholarship organizations to ensure they have received your materials. Additionally, check with your college's financial aid office to see if any scholarships have been awarded to you. Remember to check your email daily for updates. This is where scholarship awards are often communicated.

By following these steps, you can navigate the scholarship search process and increase your chances of winning scholarships to help pay for college. Remember, persistence and organization are key when it comes to finding and applying for scholarships. You can always consult a member of the Lighthouse team if you would like scholarship guidance!

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