There are lots of options when it comes to paying for college, but 63% of college students rely on some type of scholarship, making it the most common type of aid and also pretty competitive. Check out these tips on how to create your best scholarship application to help get the money you need.
Before you apply for scholarships

Submit your admissions applications to all the colleges you are interested in.

List all the colleges you are applying to on your FAFSA and submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1.


The majority of your aid will come from your admissions applications and FAFSA.
Now it’s time to consider which scholarships you will apply for. There are options that every student should consider.
Apply for scholarships at every college you applied to.

While some colleges automatically consider you for scholarships after you submit your admissions application, make sure to check whether you need to submit additional scholarship applications.

Work with your admissions counselor to make sure you are considered for every applicable scholarship application.

Consider retaking the ACT to increase your chances of being eligible for more scholarships. Make sure to send your updated ACT score to all the schools you applied to. Higher scores can mean more aid.

Consider local scholarships.

Ask your high school counselor about local scholarship opportunities.

Brainstorm local organizations that may offer scholarships, like the Woman’s Club of Nashville Scholarship Endowment Fund or the Technology Scholarship Fund.

Apply for over 100 local scholarships using one application through The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Consider national scholarships.

Explore opportunities like QuestBridge or the Jack Kent Cooke College Scholarship.

Quick Tips for Scholarships
Keep these 3 things in mind as you start applying.

1. Use Your Time Wisely

Finding scholarships can be extremely time-consuming. Don’t hesitate to ask for research help from your school counselor and family members.

2. Be Aware of Requirements and Deadlines

All scholarship applications are different. Make sure you have the necessary parts for each application and that you keep track of deadlines.

3. It’s OK To Pass

If you don’t meet the eligibility criteria for a certain scholarship, move to the next one on your list. It is not worth your time or effort to apply.