How to Apply for Multiple Scholarships at Once

How to Apply for Multiple Scholarships at Once

Written by Jason

It is simple: I envisioned Campus to Career Crossroads helping students have successful outcomes, dreamed up by the students themselves. Our mission at Campus to Career Crossroads is to develop a supportive and individualized partnership with you and your family to help you navigate the complex stages from high school and throughout your career. Let's work together!

Last updated Dec 12, 2023 | Published on Sep 30, 2021

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 billions 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 they have any extra time to apply for scholarships, due to other involvements — sports, clubs, organizations, friends, etc.

Ah, but here is 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 them 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 their 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
  • General essays: Is your child a talented writer? You can tap into a number of general essay scholarships from a wide variety of companies and organizations with topics that change from year to year.
  • Interests: What interests does your child have? Biology? The oboe? Whatever 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 they have 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 they will feel rushed with each application. 

Also consider the time of year as well. It is always better to get started with scholarship applications over the summer rather than trying to complete applications right before the deadline. The more time your child takes with each application, the more likely it is that they will do the best job possible. Allowing more time for thinking and editing never hurts.

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. 

However, ensure that your child still makes the appropriate changes to each scholarship application or essay. It is easy to forget that you changed a word or paragraph a few weeks ago that does not relate to the newest application.

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: Stay organized.

Keep yourself organized by grouping scholarships by application date. Using a monthly calendar is key or let us assist you at Campus to Career Crossroads. This way, you can prioritize what needs to be done and allow yourself enough time to ensure you are ahead of the game.

Step 6: Check with your school counselor.

Do not overlook this option. Check with your school counselor to learn more about local organizations that want to see many applicants (especially in their own backyard). Surprisingly, in this digital world, there are still many local organizations that still handle applications the old fashioned way — dropping off a hard copy to the local school district and the school counselor. Your counselor may even have a handful that get emailed directly to them as well. This means one thing: Your counselor is responsible for getting this information to students, so it helps to constantly check with them. Find out if they post monthly scholarships in a newsletter or through other sources like social media, email, or your school portal. Check often so that you do not miss out on any opportunity.

Local scholarships increase your chances simply because it is a smaller applicant pool and typically provide you with the best odds of receiving a scholarship.

Step 7: 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 8: 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 other types of merit, such as athletic prowess, artistic talent, musical skills, or other special interests.

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. Your child may have to complete an interview, audition, or another type of requirement to be considered.

Though this is the best-case scenario of being able to fill out one application for multiple scholarships, you may find other scholarship opportunities that allow you to fill out multiple scholarship applications, such as a local Dollars for Scholars program.

Step 9: 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, so what is the deal, especially since many families come to me and say they will need help paying for college?

It simply comes down to the fact that 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 deter 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 completing 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.

The list is endless: dentist offices, graphic design companies, accounting services, financial advisors, furniture stores, movie theaters, restaurants, electric companies. 

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

Now, here is a great question: Can you have multiple scholarships?

The answer is yes, but note that a college or university may hold back some merit aid if you receive a huge scholarship from an independent source. For example, let’s say your daughter is the recipient of the very large Coca-Cola scholarship and you report to the college that she plans to attend that she will “bring” that scholarship with her freshman year. They may withhold some or all of that scholarship money, but that depends on the institution. Check with the university or college for more information.

Jason and Jeremy Scholarship Winning Picture

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 child, please call Campus to Career Crossroads today for a free consultation.


Look at some frequently asked questions about how to apply for multiple scholarships at once.

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?

We always encourage our 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.

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