10 Tips for Winning Scholarships: Expert Advice from Scholarship Winners

10 Expert Advice from Scholarship Winners
10 Expert Advice from Scholarship Winners

Scholarships are a great way to finance your education without having to worry about student loans. However, with the ever-increasing competition for scholarships, winning one can be a daunting task.

In this blog post, we will discuss 10 expert advice for winning scholarships from scholarship winners themselves.

Start early:

Starting early can be a significant factor in winning scholarships. For instance, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, which offers full tuition scholarships to eligible minority students, has an application deadline in December.

The application process can be quite lengthy, requiring a student to complete multiple essays and gather recommendation letters, transcripts, and other materials. Starting early provides ample time to gather all the necessary documents and submit a high-quality application before the deadline.

Research thoroughly:

Thorough research can help students identify scholarships they are eligible for and increase their chances of winning. For example, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation provides scholarships to exceptional high school seniors with financial need.

These students must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, demonstrate significant academic achievements, and come from families with an income of less than $95,000. Students who meet these qualifications and research the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship can have a competitive advantage over other applicants.

Focus on your strengths:

Focusing on your strengths can help set you apart from other applicants. For instance, Kaela Molina, a student at the University of California, Berkeley; won a scholarship from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, by showcasing her strength in community service.

In her application, Molina highlighted her volunteer work with local organizations and how these experiences influenced her career aspirations. By focusing on her unique experiences and skills, Molina stood out from other applicants and received the scholarship.

Personalize your application:

Personalizing your application shows scholarship committees that you are invested in the scholarship and have put in the effort to make your application stand out. One example of personalization is writing a thank-you note to the scholarship committee after receiving the award.

For instance, Katelyn Wainwright, a recipient of the Horatio Alger Scholarship, wrote a heartfelt letter to the scholarship committee expressing her gratitude and describing how the scholarship would impact her academic and career goals. This personal touch showed the committee that Wainwright was genuinely grateful and invested in the scholarship.

Write a compelling essay:

A well-written essay can be a significant factor in winning scholarships. For instance, David Kennedy, a student at the University of Arizona, won the Boren Scholarship, by writing a compelling essay about his study abroad plans in Taiwan.

Kennedy’s essay demonstrated his passion for learning about new cultures and languages, which aligned with the goals of the Boren Scholarship program.

Get recommendation letters:

Recommendation letters can provide additional evidence of your strengths and accomplishments. For instance, Karen Chen, a student at Brown University, received a scholarship from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, after submitting recommendation letters from her teachers and mentors.

These letters highlighted Chen’s academic achievements, leadership skills, and commitment to community service, which made her a strong candidate for the scholarship.

Pay attention to details:

Attention to detail is essential when applying for scholarships. For instance, Nadia Rahman, a student at Boston College, received a scholarship from the Davis-Putter Fund after submitting a well-organized and error-free application.

Rahman’s application was free of typos, grammatical errors, and formatting mistakes, which made it stand out to the scholarship committee.

Follow the rules:

Following the rules and requirements of the scholarship program is crucial for winning scholarships. For instance, the Truman Scholarship Foundation requires applicants to submit a proposal for a public service project, which is a significant part of the application.

Katrina Younes, a student at American University, won the Truman Scholarship by following the program’s guidelines and submitting a proposal that aligned with the foundation’s goals.

Apply for multiple scholarships:

Applying for multiple scholarships can increase your chances of winning a scholarship. For instance, Matt Walsh, a student at Penn State, won multiple scholarships by applying to as many programs as possible.

Walsh focused on scholarships that aligned with his interests and strengths, such as the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for students pursuing a career in government.

Don’t give up:

Winning scholarships can be a competitive process, and rejection is common. However, it’s essential to keep trying and not give up. For instance, Oksana Bondarenko, a student at Indiana University, won the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans after multiple rejections from other scholarship programs.

Bondarenko continued to apply and refine her application until she found the right fit for her strengths and goals.


In conclusion, winning scholarships requires efforts, dedication, hard work, and attention to detail. By following these 10 expert advice from scholarship winners themselves, you can increase your chances of winning a scholarship and financing your education without worrying about student loans.

Remember, scholarships are not just about the money, but also about the recognition and opportunities they provide.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get paid scholarships now