Breaking Down the Scholarship Process

Breaking Down the Scholarship Process


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Over the past three days I have been personally working on scholarship applications, with help from the Career Center here at Mountain View. The majority of students not only at Mountain View, but across the country deem scholarships as ‘impossible’. Can I tell you a secret?

Scholarships are e-a-s-y.

By collaborating with your Career Center and/or guidance counselor the application process becomes straight forward and simple.

The first step:

Let the Career Center and/or guidance counselor get to know you! Elaborate on your college plan, interests/hobbies, favorite subjects, and most importantly your grades! But don’t shy away if low grades apply to you. Some scholarships do not even ask for your transcripts!

After the Career Center and/or guidance counselor finds certain scholarships that fit your personal goals and interests, start narrowing down which scholarships will benefit you the most.

Now you have selected your scholarships, next have a look at the guidelines to apply. Most scholarships are similar. They all want you to have a written piece containing elements of what the person/program awarding the money is about.

For example I applied for the Rotary Club of Herndon Scholarship and the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce Scholarship. The Rotary Club of Herndon Scholarship is the newest scholarship offered at Mountain View High School.  This scholarship is a little different from the rest. Instead of giving you direction on what to write and how much to write, the Rotary Club of Herndon supplies you with only a thesis, in a writing prompt. In my opinion this gives you a lot of opportunities to standout. With no guidelines on what to write you can really show them what you are made of!

Not all scholarships are like the Rotary Club of Herndon Scholarship. When you are given guidelines everyone applying quickly falls into having the same boring outline. You need to stand out in order to catch anyone’s attention. So what do you do?

First start out with a bold attention grabber. This will entice the reader to want to stop and take a real look at your application. Whether it is a beautiful quote or a ballsy statement, an attention grabber is a must! After the attention grabber, continue to entice the reader by your introduction paragraph. Add subtle hints of what you are going to talk about throughout the rest of your essay. But do not tell them too much, keeping them on their toes will keep them reading.

Now you’ve got their attention, great job! Get ready because here comes the hard part, the guts.

The guts of your writing need to flow with your attention grabber while meeting the guidelines. Everything must answer what they have asked. Make sure that is clear throughout your essay.

After the guts of your writing comes the conclusion. Some people find the conclusion to be the hardest part of writing an essay, but it is easier than the whole essay itself.

What you need to do is wrap up but with a twist! Make sure to tie in all that you have mentioned throughout your essay but what they are looking for is that exclamation point to seal the deal. Say something inspirational and/or something insightful that will make the reader do a double take.

Writing an essay for anything to do with scholarships or college applications is simply a game. Abide by the rules but make those rules your own and make a splash! That is how athletes and academic powerhouses get recruited. Even if you aren’t any of these; simply having the skills to write an application will make your life as easy. I promise you!

Next you turn in all of your applications to the Career Center. They will send them to the organization you have applied for.

There are a lot of scholarships out there waiting for you! So go get ‘em! You got this!

My personal experience with applying has been an absolute breeze. I would have never known if it weren’t for the help of my Career Center. Now I’m getting money for my education, and life will be a bit more stress free.

Come and join the journey to success with me! You too can have a beautiful outcome. Make your education yours.