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April 21, 2022

Hope Harris

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How to Get Scholarships | 6 Tips to Stand Out

April 21, 2022
Hope Harris

Wondering how to get scholarships for college? When you apply for scholarships online, it's easy to get overwhelmed with the process. Use the six tips below when submitting any scholarship application to stand out from the crowd! Read the tips below or watch the video featuring Point Foundation staff giving their best advice for applying to scholarships:

1. Pay Attention to Details and Requirements

First off, it's always a good idea to pay extra attention to the details when figuring out how to get a scholarship. Before you put in the hard work to apply for scholarships online, double-check the requirements!

2. Stay Organized and Manage Your Time Well

Don't wait until the last minute to complete your scholarship application. When you apply for scholarships online, know the deadlines and dates for the scholarship you're applying to.

Need a recommendation letter? Make sure you reach out for your letters of recommendation early, before you submit the application. Help your recommenders celebrate your strengths by sharing your resume with them and, if possible, drafts of application essays so recommenders can see how you are presenting your experiences.

If you need (or want) multiple recommendations, ask for them from people that can speak to different parts of your application – like a teacher for academics, an athletic coach or faculty advisor to a club for leadership, etc.

Have a list of volunteer involvement, extracurricular activities, personal obligations like work or caring for family, financial aid information, and transcripts ready for when it's time to apply. Application readers are interested in your leadership and extracurricular involvement.

Remember that the essay portion will typically be the most time-consuming area of an application, so proper time management is essential.

3. Know Your Audience

Each scholarship organization supports different types of students. For example, when you apply for a Point Foundation Scholarship, you're applying to the nation's largest LGBTQ scholarship organization, which has a four-year institution Flagship Scholarship, a BIPOC Scholarship and a Community College Scholarship program.

At the Point Foundation, members of the LGBTQ and ally community are reading your application. We want to hear about all the great work and efforts you've been putting forth to support the betterment of the LGBTQ+ community. For those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to work with or volunteer with an LGBTQ+ organization, that's okay. Share your experiences pursuing your passions and bettering your communities as a way to illustrate how you spend your time outside of academic, work or other life responsibilities.

Wherever you're applying, share the work you've been doing in your communities and how you plan to get connected and support the community during your college experience.

4. Stand Out from the Rest

Ultimately, how you may be able to get scholarships is by sharing what makes you stand out from the other applicants. Application readers want to know about a student's interests, passions, and perspectives based on lived experiences both academically and personally. This is your time to shine!

It can sometimes feel uncomfortable to show off your achievements and strengths, but this is the place to do it! We won't know if you don't tell us.

Be ready to share your accomplishments, initiatives you are working on, and/or academic/professional goals you hope to achieve.

5. Be Personal and Passionate

We understand the multi-faceted lives of students of all ages and backgrounds. In many cases, LGBTQ+ students don't often feel they can be transparent about their queer identities in scholarship applications, but at Point Foundation, we celebrate diversity. Being personal, sharing who you are and the passions that drive you to achieve success are important to us, and we want to hear about them. We want to hear about what motivates you!

6. Proofread Before Clicking Submit

Make sure to proofread your application before submitting it!

Procrastination is something many of us deal with. When it comes to having the opportunity to earn financial support for college, you want to put your best foot forward and give yourself the time you need to feel good about your application before clicking "submit."

Once you have completed your scholarship application, read the questions and your responses out loud. If it doesn't make sense to you, it's not going to make sense to a reader.

It also never hurts to have a second set of eyes review your application. Consider having a teacher or friend read through your application to offer feedback and help find typos. It's okay to ask for help!

Whether applying for the Flagship, Community College, or BIPOC Point scholarship program, these tips can help you file your application correctly and stand out! See specific requirements for each Point Scholarship on our Application FAQ page.

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