General Question

cbloom8's avatar

Is it worth my time to apply to almost all of these scholarships found in scholarship engines?

Asked by cbloom8 (1718points) August 26th, 2009

I’m a senior in high school, and right now my top choices for college next year have total costs of around $50,000. I’ve got to plan out my finances carefully, and I’m wondering if applying for most of these scholarships is worth my time (including the ones with essays that can take several hours to write).

I know I should definitely apply to some, but where do I draw the line on applying? I’ve got a pretty decent resume (3.95 GPA, 28 ACT (hopefully higher in a few weeks), hundreds of hours doing extracurricular activities and volunteering, etc.), and I’m a pretty good writer, but it’s not like I would win most of the contests I would apply to. My family is pretty well off, being somewhere between middle-upper class.

I don’t want to waste my time writing countless essays to earn almost nothing, but I don’t want to be lazy. What do you all think?

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11 Answers

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

it can’t hurt to apply. From how I look at it, a couple of hours of boredom and some writer’s cramp is well worth the 5k+ you get from certain scholarships.

perplexism's avatar

You can’t expect something to be easily handed to you, especially things involving money. Be prepared to work hard for it – which includes spending hours researching and writing essays. What you ‘gain’ out of it depends on the attitude you have going into it, regardless of whether you actually win the scholarship or not. In my case, it would be to improve my writing skills, and to have the assurance that at least I tried to do something to help myself out.

If you think the chances of you winning are really far fetched, or you don’t have the commitment to invest, don’t bother. But I don’t think it hurts to at least try.

YARNLADY's avatar

There may be some online sources that evaluate these offers, and you could use that as a guide, or your school counselor probably has an idea which ones to avoid.

Rule of Thumb: The more the better, but put the fee based ones at the bottom.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I would contact the admissions department at your top college picks and ask them what local scholarships are available and apply for those that you would be likely to get. I had a nearly free ride by doing the same thing, applying for the college’s leadership scholarship. I had to write pages and pages about myself and get 3 references…. Get the most impressive references you can, too.

nikipedia's avatar

Let’s say you spend 2 hours applying and you get a single $1,000 scholarship. Congratulations, you just made $500/hour!

Isn’t that worth it?

Facade's avatar

You can’t afford to be lazy when it comes to getting money for school. fill out as many as you can, even the little $250 ones. Those add up.

drdoombot's avatar

My brothers and myself have lived near the poverty line for most of our lives, yet we put ourselves through college (including Ivy League in one case) by applying for tons of scholarships.

The best part about scholarships is that if your tuition is already paid off, they’ll cut you a personal check for the amount they promised. It never hurts to have extra cash around for other school expenses, like textbooks.

deni's avatar

Maybe skip the ones that are really small amounts, but I’d apply for the rest. You can probably use the same essays twice, or maybe even essays you’ve already written.

My friend applied for so many scholarships that she is going to a $30,000/year school for nothing but the cost of living.

torch81's avatar

Call the school and ask the same basic question of someone in financial aid. This might not be the best time of year to get them to spend quality time with you on the phone, though. Wait until about a month after school gets started. By then they should have most of the work that they do for the incoming class pretty well handled.

You might also want to talk to people in admissions and the chair of the department that you think you will major in. These people have an active interest in seeing that a certain number of students come to the school/major each year. They might know of some other opportunities as well.

ekans's avatar

I would apply for them. In fact, when I thought of the same question, that is what I did.
I didn’t get any of the scholarships, but don’t let that discourage you.

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