Here a few tips that are very beneficial to high school students applying for scholarships:
1. Watch out for scams! Avoid applying to scholarships that have no past winners and if a scholarship agency does not have a working email or phone number, know the scholarship might be a scam.
2. When searching for scholarships, be very specific. For example, search "Scholarships for African American women studying business."
3. Create a spreadsheet with, at minimum, the following information to track your applications: name, open date, due date, scholarship amount, number of recommendations, number of essays, and submitted (yes/ no).
4. Give your parents or guardians access to this spreadsheet, so they can track your progress with you.
5. Any amount is helpful. Consider applying for smaller scholarships ($250, $500, $1,000), in addition to larger scholarships.
6. Create a list of community service, extracurricular activities, and past job experiences. You will reference these.
7. Reflect on past challenges and how you have overcome them. You will likely be asked about this as an essay question.
8. Research background information on scholarship organizations. If you advance to an interview, you will be asked about the purpose and why you should receive the scholarship.
9. Last, but certainly not least, NEVER stop applying for scholarships!
Victoria Lamar is a 2018 graduate of Westlake High School and a current sophomore at the University of San Francisco. After receiving $3 million in scholarship offers, she launched her own business, Securing Degrees Debt Free, LLC., a scholarship service that teaches parents and students how to be successful during the scholarship and college application process. CEO Victoria and her sister and manager Frederica can be reached here at Securing Degrees Debt Free, LLC. SecuringDegrees.org. 404.374.4234.