Scholarships Tips

By Howard University, School of Communications Advisory Center

Are you struggling to pay for your education?

Jessica Johnson, a Howard University School of Communications’ graduate received nearly $200,000 in scholarships while she was a student. Now owner of the Scholarship Academy and Minority Scholarship Quest, she provides several tips to assist students in identifying potential funding sources.

  • Apply Only To Those Awards That You Are Eligible For. The quickest way to eliminate yourself from a scholarship competition is to not meet one of the requirements. Take time to research scholarships that fit your profile.
  • Getting Involved Is Key. Organizations such as the Public Relations Student Society of America and the National Association of Black Journalists provide scholarships for their members. Linking up with these organizations early will help build your resume and increase your scholarship pool.
  • Maximize Your Eligibility. We all have passions. Using those passions to help others will make you more attractive to scholarship committees. Most scholarship committees are looking for students who have found creative ways to give back to their community. For project ideas to maximize your eligibility, visitwww.thevolunteercenter.org or www.youthbuild.org
  • Minimize Your Playing Field. To find those awards that will best fit your profile, start small and build your way up. Consider categories such as your major/specialization, city and state of residence, special conditions or disabilities, and your organizational involvement. The scholarships in these more specific categories are generally less competitive, which increases your chance of winning.
  • Write Right. The essay can basically make or break your application. Use it as an opportunity to brag on yourself (but make sure you tell the truth) and prove to the scholarship committee what sets you apart from the other applicants. Tailor your essay to directly address their criteria, and most importantly ANSWER THE QUESTION!
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