How to get college scholarships (5 tips and tricks)

How to get college scholarships (5 tips and tricks)

August 29, 2019 53 By Ronny Jaskolski


I didn’t have straight A’s. I didn’t
have great test scores and I definitely did not play a
varsity sport. But I still got two full-ride college scholarships that equaled
over $50,000 dollars. So if you want to know how I did it. Please keep watching. Hi everyone. My name is Amber and I’m the creator of Girl with Drive, where I help
ambitious millennials reach their goals. So in this video today I’m going to
give you my top five tips of how I got college scholarships. And this is applicable to upcoming high school graduates as well as
current college students. So I think most of us know that going to college is super valuable but it’s super expensive. Let’s be honest here. And when I graduated high school, I really just did not want to be bogged down with a bunch of student loans and my mom could not afford to send me to college on her paycheck. So you know I had to think of creative ways to pay for college and I was a good student but I wasn’t going to get the Gates scholarship. So this is what I did and I really hope that it can help
you. So number one I went to a community
college. Now I really did not want the community college at
first. I thought I worked so hard during high school that I really feel like I deserved to go to
a four year college. But you know my mom really did convince me to you know check out community college and I didn’t realize that there was
so many scholarships at community college. I ended up getting a full ride scholarship which covered my full tuition for the entire length of my associate’s degree
which was two years. It covered my fees. I got a book stipend and honestly going to community college was the best decision I feel like I’ve
ever made. At community college there’s a million resources there and a million opportunities. So I was able to do leadership positions during my freshman and sophomore year. And because I was able to do so much
at community college, it helped me get my
scholarship to my four-year-college which ended
up being the University of Maryland. So I don’t think when I watch
scholarship videos a lot of people don’t talk
about going to community college but I really think there’s so many free
resources there and to get an associate’s
degree for free. That’s amazing. So I would really encourage you to
check out your local community college. Number two. You have to write a bomb essay. So the essay portion of your scholarship application is a
chance for you to tell the scholarship
committee why you’re a good fit, how to help you and how you will also benefit them. So how do you write this bomb essay? So the first thing you have to do is do a lot of research on the actual scholarship that you’re
applying for. The first thing I would look at is is this foundation named after a person? Is that person living or is that person passed away? And the scholarship that I got for example to community college was named after a couple and they did pass away. And I did just some research on them. And it said their legacy was about helping young people with a strong work ethic. So my essay I tailored it towards my work ethic and I had a bunch of odd jobs in my senior year of high school. I was a clown. I was a party host. I dressed up as an elf for the
holidays. I did a bunch of things. To pay for prom, graduation and stuff. And I spoke about how I didn’t love
my jobs. But it really taught me how to have a stronger work ethic. So that’s how I tailored my essay and then I other essays could be about you know
your demographic or about your career or your major interest. So kind of like tailor your resume towards that but in a really concise
way. At the University of Maryland, my transfer scholarship it was about the neighborhood or area you grew up in and how those experiences when you were younger shaped you will shape you know go into the
school and your professional development. And I spoke about how I was a
military brat and how I moved around a lot and how I was always meeting
different people ever since I was really young and how I had to adapt to new
cultures and new communities. And that’s why going to this school I would fit in just fine because
I’ve been doing it my whole life. So you know when you write your essay come from the heart but it doesn’t have to be this way grand story you know it could be just a really
small thing. But make that connection as to how it’s related to the scholarship if that makes any
sense. Make sure you get this thing
proofread. And really stay within the limit. So if it says 500 words, don’t turn in 700 words and address the scholarship
committee each and every time. I had a template. So I made so during my senior year of high school and during my sophomore year of
college so when I was trying to transfer, I had three different types of essays but I would recycle through but they were like templates. So I would always customize them depending on what scholarship I
was applying for. Number three join our societies and take advanced courses. So not only does this look amazing on your resume but it shows that you’re not content with just doing the bare minimum. In high school, I was part of the National Honor
Society and the Thespian Honor Society which is like the theater honor society for students. And then in college I was part of Phi Beta Kappa which is like the National Community College honor society and all of those things
significantly helped me get scholarships. When I was applying for my four year scholarship, 80 percent of the applicants were in Phi Beta Kappa. Who like got it. You know who got the
scholarship in years past. So it only looked good for me to be in it too. Taking advanced courses like honors courses, AP classes, IB classes depending on what your your high school offers. It does wonders for you. I personally took AP classes not to get the college
credit but just to boost my GPA. And I was because it was AP classes are weighted higher so I was like fine
if I got a ‘B’ in a class because I was
like “it’s like an A.” It’s going to help my GPA. So I would really consider doing
that. And in college you know if you were going for scholarships and I’m going to talk about this a
little later on how to get smaller scholarships but taking those honors courses like your whole schedule does not be full of honors courses. Do what you can but take a couple a semester because it really shows that you’re going
the extra mile and that you’re not content with just being mediocre. Right? My fourth tip would be to get amazing recommendation letters. So a really good recommendation
letter can definitely put you over the top especially if there’s a large pool of applicants applying for the same
scholarship. So when you’re asking and thinking to yourself, who can write a really good scholarship recommendation for me? Think of someone who can really speak to the growth
of you as a student and as a person. So this isn’t necessarily have to be you know if you’re trying to be a
pre-med it doesn’t necessarily have to be a
science teacher. Mostly the scholarship specifically says they want that to be your recommender. But for me I remember I asked my literary writing teacher, I asked my newspaper editor, I asked my history teacher I had asked like so many different
types of people, my guidance counselor wrote one for
me. I just had a wide range. I think I asked like five people
because I wanted to have options. My top tips would be after you find the perfect people that can write
your recommendation letter for you, you know approach them really kindly and this can be through an e-mail. And you say you know I hey I’m
applying for college scholarships, could you please write me a recommendation letter? Send them your resume and then you know give them some
bullet points that she may want added. So you can be like remember a couple of years ago when I did that National History Day project and it got to the semifinals. I would really appreciate if you
maybe mention it. So give them talking points and I don’t think it hurts to do
that at all because people do forget. And also give them a very firm deadline of when you need it by. And I would say at least three or four weeks if possible to write
us. Another tip would be make sure the person who’s writing your recommendation letter is a responsible person. So I don’t mean this in a shady way or anything but you know if you have a professor who you know never met deadlines never gave you your work
back on time, was always really frazzled. Maybe that’s not the best person for you to ask to rate your recommendation letter because you
don’t want to be stressed out and like hunting them down to get this recommendation letter. My fifth tip would be to apply to small scholarships. So in addition to getting my
community college scholarship and my transfer scholarship to my
four year university I did get some small
scholarships and I truly believe I got them
because no one else applied for them. One of them was a humanities scholarship which meant that I had a take I had a have like a certain number of humanities
courses and it was like I think like
philosophy, english, political science I have like a mix of courses that I passed and I think I had to have seven and I applied. Wrote a really short essay. And I got it the very next day and I was like did anyone else apply for this? There’s no way I got
that so quickly. But you might be thinking Amber how do I find these small
scholarships? Well… My number one tip honestly would to be using social media. So there’s thousands thousands of scholarships on Pinterest, on Twitter, on LinkedIn etc. etc. etc. I have a Pinterest board where I just call it college scholarships board on my Pinterest
account and I post six times a day different scholarships that I see. Because I’m really passionate about people not paying for college if you
didn’t know. So my bonus tip. So this is be my sixth tip would be apply for contests. So a contest usually will not pay your whole college. But I found them extremely useful in getting other things, so I remember the business school which I was not in, had a contest and it was to win a Kindle Fire. And I applied, again I was the only person that
applied and I got that and it ended up being my mom’s Mother’s Day gift. She’s still used it to this day. I have won other little things. I know friends who have won Macbooks and things like that that can really
help them for school. So you know in addition to looking for scholarships, also look for contests. I really hope you found this video
helpful. And this is my first video in my series of scholarship videos where I’ll be going more into detail
as to what to do during your interview, what to put in your resume, how to find different types of
scholarships. So if this topic interests you, please consider subscribing to my
channel and share this video with anyone who you think might find this helpful. And as another bonus, I’m giving away a free scholarship checklist. The link will be in the description box, so check that out and you just easily download it. And until next time I will see you in my next video.