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Applying for Scholarships: Is It Worth the Effort?

By Huntington Learning Center

For high school upperclassmen planning to go to college, there’s a lengthy list of to-dos, from researching and visiting schools to taking the SAT/ACT to completing the many components of college applications.

So, for many students, the idea of adding scholarship applications to their to-do list is overwhelming. Too often, students and parents assume that scholarships are unattainable for most and not worth the trouble. But that’s simply not true. Applying for scholarships is definitely worthwhile, and here are several reasons why:

Scholarships mean less money out of pocket (and fewer loans).

This is obviously at the top of the list! Many families borrow at least some money to pay for college (in the form of federal and private student loans or other types of loans). Encourage your student to think of the process of applying for scholarships as increasing their chance of smaller student loans – for you and/or them. Less debt at graduation will make it easier for them to start their professional life on the right foot. 

Applying to scholarships builds discipline.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of students earn scholarships to colleges across the country. While it’s easy to assume those students are at the top of their class and earned perfect SAT and ACT scores, the reality is that these students worked for those scholarships. They researched and applied, possibly to dozens of different scholarships. Even if your student doesn’t receive any scholarships, putting in the effort teaches them about working hard for something they want.

Even small scholarships add up.

Every dollar earned in scholarship funds is a dollar saved in tuition for students and their parents. So, if a scholarship application that includes a short essay takes a total of five hours to put together and the scholarship is $2,000, that’s a worthwhile return on the student’s time investment and much better than any hourly wage they’ll earn in a part-time job.

Thanks to online search engines, scholarships are easy to find.

There are many tools that help students quickly fill out a profile and narrow down tens of thousands of scholarships to ones they would qualify for. Guidance counselors are a great resource as well. Although your student won’t be eligible for every single scholarship out there, if they do their due diligence, there’s a good chance they’ll find many possibilities.

Scholarships are résumé builders.

At some point in college, your student will probably be applying for an internship or summer job, and they will need to rely on their accolades and academic performance to build up their résumé. Being able to include a scholarship (or several) is certain to impress any employer. Scholarships speak to a student’s academic abilities, but also their assiduousness and persistence. 

Applying for scholarships takes time and effort, but it can pay off big. Encourage your student to do their homework and increase their odds by applying for as many scholarships as possible. If your student is a few years away from applying to colleges, but you want to make sure you put them in the best position for scholarships, call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN. We’ll help your student increase their GPA, perform well on the SAT and ACT (often factors on scholarship applications as well as college applications), and be the best student they can be.