By Dr. Noaquia Callahan
By my sophomore year in college, I was thousands of dollars in student loan debt and working two jobs to cover personal expenses. With no alternative - besides dropping out - I applied to every scholarship I believed I qualified for. A few were successful, but the rejection letters were piling up. I reviewed my materials, and noticed patterns in my successful applications. Once I identified my unique set of competitive advantages, there was no stopping me.
In retrospect, my journey to becoming a multi-scholarship winner had more to do with developing the right mindset than strategy. As the old saying goes - if you think like a winner, you can expect to become one. Perhaps you can relate: the common experience I hear from students is that they've applied to several scholarships, came up empty handed, and now feel too discouraged to go through another application cycle. To this I say, congrats! You’re just one attempt away from a breakthrough.
Remember, the first goal is to win one (yes, just one) scholarship. Why? This victory will provide reliable evidence of how to best frame your intellectual biography (and supplementary materials), as well as the type of scholarships in which you are likely to be most competitive.
Winning scholarships is not just about grades, test scores, and academic accolades. If that were true, only students with perfect SAT/GRE/GMAT/LSAT scores, GPAs, and an obnoxious number of extracurricular activities would be scholarship recipients. Instead, focus on telling your story in the most powerful original way. To be successful in this process, you have to start believing that these opportunities are for you too. Remember, you miss 100% for the shots you don’t take. No one is smarter than you. With practice, you, too, will become an unstoppable scholarship winning monster.
Need help developing a plan to successfully apply for scholarships and cover higher education cost? Schedule a FREE Scholarship Strategy Session with me!