5 Things Scholarship Winners Are Doing This Summer

 In The Debt-Free Degree Zone

Ever wonder how scholarship moguls spend their summers? We’re kicking off our “Chasing The Debt Free Degree” Blog with some sizzling summer scholarship prep tips. Whether you’re in high school or already in college, there are certain winning characteristics that separate top scholarship winners from the crowd of applicants. The biggest element is preparation. While other students are soaking in the sun this summer, there’s a few things the most strategic scholarship applicants are doing to beat out their competition in the fall. Here’s a short list:

  1. They are padding their resume. Internships, summer enrichment programs, study abroad trips. All of these elements add that extra kick to your resume in preparation for the scholarship review committee. Without it, items such as your organizational affiliations tend to blend in with hundreds of other applicants. This summer, the most aggressive scholarship applicants will be immersing themselves in learning experiences that are sure to peak any scholarship committee’s interest.
  2. They are putting a process to the process. Smart scholarship applicants realize that a large part of the application process is getting organized. Nailing down the perfect resume template and drafting boilerplate essay outlines will surely place you ahead of the game. Students who are able to create scholarship calendars, organize deadlines and edit vital documents early can coast through the heaviest scholarship application seasons with ease.
  3. They are building relationships that matter. Strong recommendation letters can be pretty tough to come by once the semester settles in. Reach out to your strongest prospects over the summer and share your BRAG sheet with them to provide guidance. With more time, your recommendation letters are sure to shine.
  4. They are treating community service like a summer job. Summer is the perfect time to step beyond the typical canned food drives and really dive into high-impact service projects. Gather your friends to restore the neighborhood park benches or raise money for a cause you care about. High levels of community impact translate into larger pools of scholarship dollars.
  5. They are isolating their weakest links. Worried about that math grade from last semester? Need to master test-taking strategies for the SAT/ACT? The students who are mastering the scholarship game recognize how important summer time can be to improve on weaker subjects and increase test scores.

So, which one of these actions are you focusing on this summer? In the race to “Chase the Debt-Free Degree,” you’ve always got to be searching for ways to stay ahead. It’s not too late to flip the script this summer. Best of luck!

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