Scholarships for High School Seniors
With an economy still in recovery from a recession, many high school seniors (and their parents) are preparing for continuing education and searching for scholarships. While there are many scholarships available for students early-on in their high school career, there are some invaluable scholarships for high school seniors which can offset the cost of a student’s dream school tuition.
Tips for Successful Scholarship Applicants
There are some general ideas which are common amongst successful scholarship winners. These are applicable across the board to every scholarship competition you may enter. Many scholarships today require applicants to submit an essay. A winning essay must be proofread multiple times over with correct spelling and grammar. (This applies to applications themselves as well). It is also a good idea to have at least one other person such as a parent, teacher, or mentor to proofread essays and applications to check for errors.
Another trait of successful scholarship winners is well-roundedness. This is an advantage, again, for applying to any scholarship program. Scholarship programs and judges are searching for the best-of-the-best students to represent their organization. Well-deserving students are more than their SAT and ACT scores and grades. They participate in extra-curricular activities, both school-sponsored and in their community.
Aside from setting one’s self apart on paper through a well-written application and list of extra-curricular activities, successful scholarship applications, eventual winners, must set themselves apart personally. Many scholarship programs, after narrowing down potential recipients to a select few, conduct interviews with these students in order to make their final decision. A successful interview is essential to a successful applicant. A successful interviewee is prepared. Many interview questions will expound upon a student’s application, so preparedness (knowing one’s application front and back) as well as researching the organization sponsoring the scholarship is key. Also, the successful scholarship candidate smiles and makes good eye contact with their interviewer. Answer questions thoughtfully and honestly, presenting your best self to an interviewer, being careful not to boast, but not to self-deprecate. Applying these principals of a successful interview and application are essential to setting oneself apart as a deserving applicant.
Some of the most well-known scholarship programs available to high school seniors which these tips can be applied to are:
- Sponsored by the famous beverage company the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation awards thousands of dollars annually to high school seniors. Interested students complete an initial application online. Applications are accepted August-October 31 for high school students senior year. From initial applicants 2,200 of these are selected to complete a secondary application (including official school transcripts and two letters of recommendation). These applicants are narrowed down to 250 finalists which are selected for personal interviews, after which scholarship recipients are selected.
- The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation awards 50 students $20,000 ($5,000 per year for 4 years) and 200 students $10,000 ($2,500 per year for 4 years). The scholarship competition is open to all high school seniors who are not the child or grandchild of Coca-Cola employees and have at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Another highly coveted scholarship for high school seniors is the AXA Achievement Scholarship. The organization awards a student from each state as well as one student from Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico a scholarship of $10,000 to be applied to their tuition to an accredited college or university of their choice. Then, selected from these recipients are 10 students who receive an additional $15,000 in scholarship funds and the opportunity of an AXA Equitable internship. Applications are accepted online at the aforementioned URL from September (2012’s open application date has not yet been announced) until December 1, 2012. To be eligible applicants need only be US citizens or legal residents of one of the 50 US states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, high school seniors, and plan to enroll full-time in a 2 or 4 year university/college for a full academic year. Applicants are evaluated according to their academic achievement (GPA), involvement in extra-curricular activities, and listed outstanding achievements in extra-curricular activities based on self-motivation and drive. They must also be recommended by an un-related adult based upon their performance and character.
While these two scholarships are among the most-high paying and far-reaching scholarships available for high school seniors, there are a multitude of scholarships available for those who seek them out. From the weird and wacky Duct Tape brand “Stuck on Prom” contest which awards up to $3000, to the Common Knowledge “street smarts” scholarship competition awarding its winner with up to $3000 to help pay for college, there is something for all potential leaders to exhibit their willingness to go the extra mile in a goofy way to fund their education.
The leaders of tomorrow have an abundance of opportunities which can enable them to further their education either in the US or abroad, from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, to The AXA Achievement Scholarship, to the thousands of other less-well known, smaller, local and regional scholarships and grants, every aspiring college student has the opportunity to earn scholarships for high school seniors.
Additional Scholarships for High School Seniors: