How to Increase Your Scholarship Odds
In order to increase your scholarship chances, you need to play the odds. At last count, there are approximately 2.4 million scholarships available worth a total of $14 billion in financial aid. When you look at that number you realize: there's money out there for everyone and you just have to find it! Your goal should be to find as many scholarships you qualify for as possible and get those scholarship applications turned in.
Typically for every hundred opportunities you find, you will qualify for 10% or 10 of those scholarships. For every ten scholarship applications you submit, you'll win one scholarship award. So the more applications you fill out, the more you increase your chances of securing money. Knowing these numbers should make you feel a little better about investing your time in the searching process.
Go small, win more
Don't overlook the little guys. The large scholarships have massive competition. Because of this, your odds of being chosen go down. This doesn't mean you can't win the big scholarships, it just means lots of people are trying. If you can win multiple small scholarships, that total could equal the sum of that big scholarship and you'd be in the exact same financial situation - voila! It doesn't matter how you get the money, just that somehow it's put together. By hedging your bets and applying for scholarships where you have a 50% chance of winning, you're spending your time wisely and increases your chances for that much-needed money for higher education.
Make sure you're qualified
As much as you need to broaden your search and include all the small money, remember to fully utilize your time by finding scholarships you truly qualify for. You don't want to waste your valuable time filling out applications for money for which you don't quite fit the bill. These applications take time, effort and thought. Wholeheartedly believe that you have a real shot of winning every scholarship you're submitting for.
As if it isn't frustrating enough filling out college applications and waiting for an answer, you open the door all over again when applying for scholarships. Remember to think of this as a gift. Whether you win the scholarship or not, you're increasing your scholarship chances by putting yourself out there. The rejection isn't of you, but rather a reward for one of your future classmates. You're all in this together, competing for scholarships, grades and jobs. You take this experience with you and learn how to compete in the "real world" with every win and loss.
The game can get boring. Filling out a million scholarship applications seems like overkill, but when you walk away from college with limited-to-no debt, every minute you spent doing it will be more that worth it. The more you do, the faster you'll get what you need--in the end, it will lead to the money you need to complete your education.