What makes a great scholarship candidate?

Scholarships can be a great way to finance your post-secondary education and achieve your dreams. After supporting thousands of students in applying to and winning scholarships, we learned what makes a great scholarship candidate. 

Why do you want to be a strong scholarship candidate?

Consider if you spend about two hours per week during your school year applying to scholarships, you would spend approximately 48 hours applying to scholarships. Now if you’re like our average winners and you win $9,200, that translates into $191/hour. This is a pretty good hourly rate no matter where you go—but especially as a student! Where else can you make that kind of money as a student?

Now let’s say you want to become a great scholarship candidate. Our top students have won upwards of $100,000. But let’s just say that because you took yourself from good to great, you won $40,000.

This takes more time on your end. And if you’re smart, you spend that time going from good to great when you have spare time—in your Grade 11 year. 

Tip #1 — Research Scholarships

In Grade 11, start researching what scholarships you will be eligible for in Grade 12. Find information about past scholarship winners, like this one for the TD Community Leadership Scholarship. Compare yourself and your involvement, and then make a plan to become that scholarship winner.

Tip #2 — Get a Headstart on Your Essays

Start writing your essays in Grade 11. Work to hone your writing skills and start learning something we call the Scholarship Writing Style. This has the side effect of making you a better communicator in day-to-day life, too. Many students who improve their Scholarship Writing Style also improve their English marks.

Tip #3 — Create Impactful Community Initiatives

A great scholarship candidate creates initiatives in Grade 10 and 11 that stand out on a scholarship and post-secondary application and make an impact in your community. It’s awesome because they are both the same thing! Being a mission-driven high-schooler is a good thing—and people want to acknowledge you for it! Let them do so by becoming a great scholarship candidate.

The Bottom Line

Being proactive and putting in the work is key to becoming a great scholarship candidate. So let’s say that you need to double your input and spend four hours a week working on scholarships instead of two. If you put in 96 hours and won $40,000, that increases your hourly rate from $191/hour to $416/hour!

Becoming a great scholarship candidate takes work and time, but it will pay off for your education and your future. Scholarships and post-secondary educational institutions want to acknowledge and reward students like you and support you on your path to creating more impact in this world in the future.

If you want to go from a good to a great scholarship candidate, GrantMe can help. Our platform provides students with tailored scholarship matches, essay editing, and mentorship to help you achieve your post-secondary goals. Find out more here.

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