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How to Win the Most Prestigious College Scholarships
This student won a ton of college scholarships and is sharing his wisdom with YOU and your student.
The best advice on how to win college scholarships comes from actual winners.
Today I have a guest post from Faique Moqeet, the founder of Admit Hero, a new FREE scholarship search and information site for students that is still in its pre-launch stage. Faique won thousands of dollars in scholarship money and I’m excited to share some of his expertise with you. Welcome, Faique!
Spoiler Alert: How to Win the Most Prestigious College Scholarships
There are billions of dollars worth of scholarships out there available every year, and yet, surprisingly, much of it goes unclaimed. Instead, there are a handful of extremely competitive national scholarships that get huge amounts of applicants. Winning these latter types of competitive national scholarships requires being a certain type of applicant, and subsequently, being a certain type of high school student. In this article, I’ll explain what this means: what types of students win these competitive national scholarships. The good news is that if you can win these more competitive scholarships, winning the usually-unclaimed, more-local scholarships is much easier.
The only way to become a competitive applicant for prestigious scholarships is to distinguish yourself. Bear with me. You don’t have to cure cancer or have a business with 10 million in revenue, but you have to be different than everyone around you. There are approximately 20 million high school students in America. That’s about 5 million high school seniors. Even if 1% of these 5 million students are students with perfect or near-perfect GPAs, that’s already 50,000 students with amazing grades. No wonder schools like MIT explicitly say they could fill multiple admitted classes with students who have perfect academic records – but they’re looking for more than that.
On top of this, students who are high academic performers are probably involved with some extracurricular activities at school, too. Many are probably leaders of clubs at their schools, if not leaders in multiple clubs. So where does this lead us? It means that you need more than good grades and more than being a leader in some extracurricular clubs. This is what most students don’t realize. This could mean pursuing your extracurricular commitments at the state or national level. For instance, are you involved with your school’s business club? Have you ever considered going to the annual Future Business Leaders of America conference in your state? Going to the conference will allow you to learn new things, compete in competitions and meet other like-minded students. Less tangibly, the effects of this type of exposure will make you a better communicator, a better writer, and a more interesting candidate.
However, the truth is, you don’t have to go to some state or national conference to distinguish yourself, either. You just need to pursue your interests – whatever they are – beyond the boundaries of your school. That’s the key. Are you really passionate about programming? Take some online courses and build a few projects! (You should also take the computer science and programming classes your school offers, but that’s just the foundation). Any scholarship organization awarding money wants to know that the winner will make good use of the funds. They want to know that, more than just being smart, you take initiative and are a real person with interesting experiences and a serious drive to succeed.
Your best bet is to explore different activities and see what you enjoy most. Math Club? Writing? Debating? Community Service? Figure out what you are genuinely interested in. Once you figure that out, figure out how you can demonstrate your interest by doing things beyond being involved in school. The earlier you start this process, the more time you have to explore which activities you are actually interested in, and then commit to them. A lot of students start this process as a senior, which makes it very difficult to genuinely demonstrate interests in such a short amount of time.
Where can you find about the different activities that you might be interested in? Where do you even begin? Once you have an idea, how do you find ways to demonstrate your interests? Well, that’s where I come in. I graduated from high school just a few years ago and always had younger friends and family asking me for the ‘secret’ to winning all the scholarships I won. That’s why I created Admit Hero. Admit Hero exposes you to insightful content that can help you figure out your interests and provide you with opportunities to tangibly pursue (and demonstrate) your interests.
The last thing I will add is that anyone can do it. Every student has the capability to be a competitive applicant for prestigious scholarships. It’s a matter of being proactive and doing the right things for the right reasons!
About the Author: Faique Moqeet is a senior at Northwestern University. He’s the founder of Admit Hero, a website for high school students to discover opportunities and read insightful content. He’s interested in startups, technology, and education and loves helping students.
Monica Matthews is the author of How to Win College Scholarships. She helped her own son win over $100,000 in college scholarships and now shares her expertise with other parents and their students. She truly has “been there, done that” in regard to helping parents and students navigate the scholarship process.
Her method of helping students in finding college scholarships, writing unique and compelling scholarship essays, creating amazing scholarship application packets, and more have taught desperate parents to help their own students win thousands of scholarship dollars. She teaches them how to apply S.M.A.R.T. with outstanding results.
Monica’s scholarship tips have been featured on many prominent websites, and she has been dubbed the “Go-To” expert on college scholarships.