Does this sound familiar?
“Hey, I think this is a great time to apply for scholarships!”
“Uh, Mom, when will I have time to do that?”
If you barely have time to eat breakfast in the morning or are always late to soccer practice with your younger children, I hear you. (Almost every family I work with says they have no extra time!)
Colleges and universities in the U.S. and the Department of Education award an approximate $46 billion in grants and scholarship money every year. In addition, private sources (individuals, foundations, service groups, veteran’s groups, corporations, churches, nonprofit groups, civic organizations, chambers of commerce and more) award about $3.3 billion in gift aid. It is a staggering amount and you may wonder, “Where is all this money?”
As a high school student, your child probably does not think he or she has any extra time to apply for scholarships, due to everything he or she is involved in — sports, clubs, organizations, friends, etc.
When will he or she have time to apply for scholarships? Ah, but the secret: Applying for multiple scholarships at once! It can make a huge difference in the amount of effort you put in. Let us explore how to apply for multiple scholarships at once and use Campus to Career Crossroads to leverage your success.
How Many Scholarships Should You Apply For?
If you talked to them all, you would hear the same advice from just about every admission counselor and school counselor in the country: Apply to as many scholarships as possible. Colleges do not care how many outside scholarships your child applies for, so go ahead and apply for as many as possible.
How to Find the Right Scholarships
Which scholarships should your child apply to when there are thousands of opportunities? Take a look at the factors your child should consider before you encourage him or her to apply:
- Type of award: You cannot apply for every possible scholarship available, so when you are sifting through various awards, you want to encourage your child to use his or her time well.
- Organization type: Stick to organizations that make sense. For example, if your child has always volunteered through Key Club, a Kiwanis scholarship might make sense. Take a look at the following common organization types that usually award scholarships:
- Academic scholarships for students with high academic achievement
- Community service scholarships for students who are active in community service
- Athletic scholarships for students with athletic talent
- Hobbies and extracurricular activities for students who have a specific interest
- Applicant identities based on underrepresented minorities
- Need-based scholarships that have to do with financial need
- Employer scholarships for students who work at a particular company or their parents’ jobs
- Military scholarships for students who join the military
- Interests: What interests does your child have? Biology? The oboe? Whatever the interests your child has, target scholarships based on those.
- Qualifications: Does your child meet the qualifications? If the scholarship is for people with red hair, it is natural to assume that your child will not qualify if he/she has jet black hair. However, keep in mind that you can always contact the scholarship committee if your child meets most (but not all) of the qualifications. Some scholarships have a tough time finding applicants.
How to Apply for Multiple Scholarships at Once
Follow these six steps to help your child apply for the most scholarships as possible.
Step 1: Start early.
Did you know that you can apply for scholarships as early as middle school? Too late for that for your child? Even so, starting as early as possible, from freshman year to senior year, can help your child get the hang of how scholarship application forms look and how they are laid out. The earlier your child starts, the less likely he or she will feel rushed with each application.
The early bird gets the worm in this case, too.
Step 2: Put together all pertinent documents.
The scholarship application may ask your child to offer proof of identity and other information, such as the following information:
- High school transcripts
- Letters of recommendation from teachers or counselors
- A résumé
- Standardized test scores
Keep copies of all of the above documents in one place on your child’s computer so they are easy to grab when needed. That way, your child will not have to go hunting for the extra information and lose momentum while typing out a scholarship application.
Step 3: Find college scholarships that have similar requirements.
Why not assemble scholarship applications that ask similar questions, require similar materials and farm them out to the various organizations that require them? It could help your child feel not as overwhelmed if the applications look the same.
Step 4: Create a variation of the essay.
You can recycle your essays and short responses when appropriate. Rather than writing a brand new essay over and over, encourage your child to create a skeleton of the essay, then fill in the blanks to personalize the essay when needed.
Get personal and be specific, tell a story, tailor the essay to the prompt. Just make sure your child follows the essay prompt exactly, because it is easy to assume the essay “looks good” when it actually does not follow the prompt at all.
Step 5: Apply for the Campus to Career Crossroads Scholarship.
Since the inception of Campus to Career Crossroads, funding a company scholarship has been a priority. Take a look at the video below and apply for the Campus to Career Crossroads scholarship!
Step 6: Simply apply to colleges.
Just filling out the Common App, for example, can net you scholarships, particularly if you file the FAFSA in addition to filling out the application. Many colleges offer merit-based scholarships. Merit-based scholarships are not related to need. Students can receive merit-based scholarships for good grades and high test scores or another type of merit, such as athletic prowess, artistic talent, musical skills, or another type of special interest merit.
Talk individually to each school, or more specifically, the admission counselor assigned to your student for a full snapshot of the type of merit aid your student may be eligible to receive. He or she may have to do an interview, audition, or complete another type of requirement to be considered.
Step 6: Apply locally and often.
I have watched a lot of students over the years waste good scholarship opportunities. In fact, I have seen it play out that families do not end up applying for scholarships at all.
How surprising? They surely want free money? Especially since many families come to me and say they will need help paying for college?
No — they are busy! Students experience burnout, what with college essays, homework, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs and juggling family and friend activities. There is just no time.
Finally, and here’s the clincher: Comprehending the long-term financial ramifications of college loans can stymie even the most even-keel senior high school student. I have heard from multiple students, “A college education is worth it ‘at all costs,'” and “I will get a good job to pay off my loans.”
And what about parents? They are tired too, from hours and hours of work, helping their child with college applications and more. Who has time to nag their kids about doing college scholarship applications as well?
Also: Who will track down, identify and keep track of all these local scholarships? After all, you are more likely to receive a local scholarship than a national scholarship such as the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. Think dentist offices, graphic design companies, accounting services, financial advisors, furniture stores, movie theaters, restaurants, electric companies — the list is endless.
Professional association chapters may also give out scholarships to students who intend to pursue that particular major or career path.
Campus to Career Crossroads takes pride in planning all the required stages to be successful in the college journey, and that includes planning for scholarship applications.
Apply for Multiple Scholarships at One Time
From admission applications to scholarship application tips, the experts at Campus to Career Crossroads can help you through every transition. We will provide you with full assistance, from helping you identify the appropriate scholarships to managing application deadlines to walking through application requirements, and more. We will even walk through each paragraph of the essay with you if necessary!
If you are unsure about managing the scholarship process or finding scholarships for your son or daughter, please call Campus to Career Crossroads today for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you apply for multiple scholarships?
Absolutely! There is no reason why you cannot apply for many scholarships at one time. In fact, the more scholarships you can apply for, the more chances you have to line your pockets with free money! The most important thing you need is a strategy to help you apply for more than one scholarship at a time. Campus to Career Crossroads can help you through the process.
How many scholarships can you get at once?
You can get an unlimited number of outside scholarships. However, check the policies related to the colleges and universities to which your child has applied. If your child gets a large outside scholarship, the college or university must reduce the need-based aid offered, required by federal law. However, this does not mean your child will have to pay a larger share of the college costs. It just means that the scholarship dollars replace need-based aid (which could come in the form of need-based loans). Do not miss out on nuggets of wisdom like these from Campus to Career Crossroads!
How many scholarships does the average student apply for?
I always encourage my clients to apply for several scholarships. In the past, students have applied for multiple scholarships and have won a substantial number of these scholarships. Students apply for local and national scholarships. We guide students through this process with extracurricular activities and other commitments in mind, spreading out the deadlines throughout the year so students can attain an achievable number of outside scholarship applications. We walk all of our clients (parents and students alike) through an extremely comfortable scholarship application process.