Scholarship Tips

The scholarships listed on this website are all those advertised by the South Western High School Guidance Office.  Other places to look for scholarships include:

1) The college/university to which you are applying – Many private schools have standard scholarships based on high school GPA and/or SAT scores.  There may also be private scholarships available.  Contact the Financial Aid office of the college for more information.

2) Local organizations and groups – Any group you (or a member of your family) belongs to may have scholarships available.  Check at churches, civic organizations, parent’s place of employment, banks or credit unions, local governments, veterans associations, etc.

3) Free, online scholarship searches – Many websites (such as scholarships.com or finaid.com) provide free searches for scholarships.  A word of caution: beware of website scams!  You should never have to pay for a scholarship search.

Once you have some scholarships picked out and are ready to apply, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Be organized. Set aside time to look for scholarships and to complete your applications.  Read requirements carefully to make sure you are eligible.  Then determine if you can apply online or if you need a paper copy of the application.  Make sure you gather all the materials necessary to apply (i.e. essays, list of awards and activities, financial statements etc.)
  • Stay on top of deadlines.  Create a calendar with due dates.  Place your applications in order of due date so you know which ones to work on first.  If a scholarship requires a letter of recommendation, be sure you give the individuals writing your recommendations plenty of advanced notice.  For applications or transcripts that must be mailed, make sure you have them in the Guidance Office one full week before the due date.
  • Be Honest. Don’t exaggerate your grades, memberships, skills, or qualifications. It is better to focus on the scholarships for which you might be eligible.  Also, don’t have someone else fill out applications for you.  Scholarship applications  (just like college applications) should be filled out by the student.
  • Follow instructions carefully. Some scholarships require you to write an essay; others may want letters of recommendation.  Make sure you follow all instructions and include all materials that are requested.
  • Proofread your application: Review everything. Typos and missing information are a quick way to take yourself out of the running for a scholarship.  Consider asking a parent, teacher, counselor or friend to double check your application.

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