How to Improve your Chances of Winning a Scholarship – Part Two

Some ideas on how you can increase the number of credentials you place on your scholarship application. If interested in improving your chances of earning a scholarship, you’ll want a completely filled-out applications with all the numerous activities you’ve been involved with.

Improving your chances of winning a scholarship isn’t as hard as you think. Besides academic performance, scholarship programs like to see that you’re a well-rounded student engaged in a plethora of extra-curricular activities – community service, volunteer work, sports, employment – you know the routine. When presented with a scholarship application, it simply looks good to have it completely filled out. I know this is really basic but it’s worth repeating. Your application will easily look better next to someones who’s application has only a few outside activities listed. You’ll also want to present the type of character that’ll inspire the judges or selection committee to select you as a deserving scholarship recipient. That means you have to have an “on-page” appearance of versatility, accomplishment, skillfulness and exhibit great potential worthy of the generous investment offered. If you feel you’re already quite active outside of school, but could use a bit more achievements on your belt, here are a few programs that should help guide you in rounding out your list of experiences.

Discus Awards

This is an easy program to join that’ll help you not only with scholarship applications, but college applications as well. All you have to do is select three out of ten attributes (technology, government, community service, etc) they recognize and write about how you excel in each attribute. They ask that you upload any images or videos that support your claim of involvement along with a reference. Hundreds of winners are selected year-round and are featured in national and local media. Unlike other award programs, they don’t require GPA or standardized test information. They simply want to award students that can sometimes be under-served by traditional award programs. Out of the pool of Discus Award Winners they choose ten to receive the $2,000 National All-Around Scholarship each year. One of the simplest scholarship applications out there that shouldn’t be passed up on.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award

This award honors volunteer service and is issued by the Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community Service on behalf of the President. Depending on the number of volunteer hours you’ve served and your age, you can receive either a bronze, silver or gold medal with a Personalized Certificate, a Lapel Pin and a Congratulatory letter from the President. To receive these items you’re volunteer work has to be tracked by a certified organization or can be tracked online on the website. Scholarship programs love seeing awards you’ve received on an application from various programs. This is an easy way to keep track of all your volunteer/community service hours that you can brag about on a scholarship application. However, keep in mind, that once you’re eligible for the top prize, there is a small fee ($4.75) for the complete award package that includes the Lapel Pin, the Letter/Certificate from the President and the medal.

Wendy’s High School Heisman Award

The Wendy’s High School Heisman Program recognizes well-rounded high school seniors who are exemplary in classroom, community and on the field. As you can imagine, they put an emphasis on sports activities (not just football) that a high school senior is involved with; any one of 27 eligible school-sponsored sports activities. Eligibility is dependent on being a high school senior and having at least a 3.0/4.0 GPA. To join, just fill out an online application (they’ll award the first 25,000 entries with $10-$50 Wendy’s gift cards) by October 2. They have different stages of finalists and winners (School Winners, State Finalists, State Winners, National Finalists and National Award Winners) each with successive certificates, medals and awards that should help peak the interest of a scholarship selection committee or judge.

Congressional Award

This is similar to the President’s Volunteer Service Award except that its from congress. You’re eligible if you’re between the ages of 13 ½ – 24. And although this program will help you with other scholarship applications, there are scholarships set aside specifically to those who have participated in the program. To join, you must register online and send in a one-time registration fee of $15 dollars. You’ll have to set goals in four categories: Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness and Expedition/Exploration. You get to choose your own goals within each category, but an advisor must approve them. The number of hours you’ve engaged in an activity determines your award. You can find a breakdown of the award structure here. Simply logging in your hours in each category is real easy and should help improve your chances of winning other scholarship programs.

Stay Active

Involvement in other activities besides academic endeavors is important when trying to improve your chances of winning a scholarship. Of course, receiving high grades is crucial to many scholarship programs, but they also want to see any other attributes you have. This is why the list above should help in attaining a scholarship. Another site to get involved with is This site has a strong emphasis on community service and offers sizable scholarships that range in purpose and value. Otherwise, always be on the look-out for more activities to get involved with to give you a better chance at snagging a scholarship.


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