Now that high school classes are wrapping up for another year, it is time to lay down some serious plans for the summer. Although you want to include a good dash of fun, rising high school seniors also need to include a lot of activities that will give them a head start on the process of getting into, and paying for, college. In addition to your college application and financial aid tasks, here are some steps you can take during the summer to get your scholarship search on track as well:
- Talk to friends from the Class of ‘23: Think about your friends who just graduated from high school. Did any of them get really great scholarships that were not provided by the college? Talk to them now and find out how they did it! These success stories can be your best source of inspiration.
- Do the research: Don’t wait until the fall to start looking for scholarship opportunities. There are lots of scholarships, but it takes time to find those that are the best fit for your unique abilities. Think about your special talents, abilities and interests, and then look for scholarships in those areas. The application process might not open until later this year, but you can look at last year’s information to get a good idea of their application requirements.
- Apply if you can! There are plenty of good scholarships that have summer deadlines, or some that open their application process during the summer. This would be a great use of time if you can knock a few applications off your scholarship list.
- Think about special requirements: Some scholarships just want you to apply, but others look for an essay, a video or a project. Get some of these requirements completed now so you won’t have to rush to get them done later.
- Get involved: If your resume doesn’t look that impressive, try to do something different this summer that you will be able to discuss in your application. Help out in your community, do something related to your field of interest, or get involved with a club. It might even turn out to be fun!
- Start your networking: In addition to your high school friends, start letting your circle of friends and family know that you are interested in pursuing scholarships. Talk to your parents and their friends about local scholarship opportunities, and ask everyone on your social media channels to let you know if they hear of any great prospects.
- Check out academic requirements: If scholarships have a minimum GPA or SAT/ACT score requirement, and you don’t quite meet it, take summer classes or retake the test to bump up your results.
Get ready for what will be a busy time this fall by doing your scholarship work now. Look for more opportunities with the three-month CFAA Scholarship Process. We assess your unique background and capabilities, point out up to 60 potential scholarship opportunities, and organize your application approach.