There are many online resources to help begin the college scholarship process. Simply search college scholarships. However, beware, the number of scholarships available may overwhelmed you. The key is to first, narrow down the opportunities to a list of scholarships which apply to your strengths and interests.  Next, create a well-reasoned, well-written and informative scholarship essay.

Most scholarship providers will post past winning essay submissions on their websites. Read these entries for inspiration and ideas. Notice their grammar, sentence structure, the way they address the subject, etc. Take notes and use this information to help you formulate a strong essay.  Make sure you read the rules that each scholarship requires. You will need to be able to fulfill those rules before you apply.

 

Some scholarship providers will specify font type, size and character count.  Take time to prepare a typewritten essay including all of the formatting or guidelines presented by the scholarship provider. You may be able to reuse parts of your essay for other scholarships depending on their requirements.  In fact, you may be able to write one or two essays that you can submit to several different scholarship providers. Your time is valuable! If you are able create address labels for your envelopes and remember every detail will make a first impression on the person reading your essay.

Start early (October of your senior year) prioritizing and writing your essays. You may not be able to get an application for some scholarships, but the rules and requirements should be available.  You will need to pay close attention to deadlines to get your scholarship applications and essays in on time. Make a list with the ones with the closest due dates and ones for which you qualify most on the top.  Choose whichever scholarship is worth the most money to begin. If you start early and have time, you may be able to even complete the “maybes” on your list. Applying for scholarships may feel like a daunting task, but if you start early and follow these basic steps your rewards will be well worth the effort.

Tyrone Maho and Chad Prentice have children in elementary, high school and college. They are familiar with the scholarship process and positive impact scholarships can have on an individual. Thus, they decided to create a scholarship for local students who are interested in pursuing their academic dreams. Please visit www.maho-prentice.com. Tyrone supports our Santa Barbara local schools as a Mock Trial Coach at Dos Pueblos High School. Chad Prentice has served on the Hope School District School Board, the San Marcos Royal Pride Foundation, and is currently a Math Superbowl Coach for Monte Vista Elementary School.  They strongly believe in supporting our youth and value education tremendously in our Santa Barbara community.