If you’re beginning to look at college for your student, you’re very likely finding out one thing: college is incredibly expensive. At thousands of dollars per semester, finding scholarships for your student is more important than most parents realize. Unfortunately, getting approved for or winning those scholarships isn’t always easy. Between applications that aren’t filled out correctly, applications that don’t offer enough information and the sheer number of students applying, you’ll have a fight on your hands to get the scholarships that you want.
One way that you can increase your chances of getting a college scholarship is by making sure that you have plenty of activities on your college application. What type of activities? They can vary, but these 9 activities that look great on a scholarship application are all a fantastic place to start.
Musical activities – Music is not only a fantastic way to alleviate stress and deal with emotions, but it also looks great on a scholarship application. Be sure to include if your student has done band, chorus or even a local musical theater show. This is especially important if you’ll be applying for music related scholarships.
Sports – Like music, sports are also another activity that you’ll want to include on your scholarship application. Be sure to include what sports were played, what position, how long and any special awards won. Cheerleading falls under sports so if you have a cheerleader, make sure she includes it too.
Volunteer jobs – Has your student volunteered at a local hospital or animal shelter? If so, make absolutely certain that they include it on their scholarship application. Scholarship committees want to pick students who they know will value the gift they are being given. By showing that your student is willing to work for what they have, even if they aren’t being paid for it, shows that they are a good candidate.
Charity work – Like volunteer work, charity work shows that your student cares about more than themselves. Whether it be work done with an organization like the American Red Cross or something more simple such as helping a local group clean up after a major weather event, you’ll want to be sure it gets mentioned.
Religious or church work – For some schools and some scholarships, religious or church work absolutely will matter. This means that if your child has sung in the church choir for five years, has helped teach a Sunday School class or has helped in the church nursery for a year, you should mention it in their application.
High school clubs – High schools are full of different clubs and organizations these days and those groups can help your child win a scholarship. Be sure that each one is included on their scholarship application. Like sports, you’ll want to include how long they were a member and any special offices held. Girls scouts and Boy Scouts would fall under this category too.
National Honor Society – Don’t forget about NHS if your child has the grades to be inducted. It is a huge honor to be inducted into the NHS so why would you leave it off? Including it could mean the difference between winning that scholarship and not getting it.
Gold or Eagle Award – Just like NHS — the Girl Scout Gold Award and the Boy Scout Eagle award both show a dedication to accomplishment, community and serving their country.
FHA or FFA – FFA and FHA, like clubs show that your child is willing to work. If they have had success in either one, you’ll want to make sure it finds a place on the scholarship application. This includes 4-H as well since they teach skills that are along the same lines.
Internships – Finally, internships should be included on college scholarship applications. A lot of people seem to forget about this one since usually an internship is looked at as a “job.” While you’re in high school though, they aren’t so much of a job as they are a way to show that you already have specific skills that may be needed later on in your career.