Planning for Top Scholarships

There’s no such thing as starting too early.  Plan ahead!

Your job is to convince the scholarship selection committees that investing in you will be a wise decision, and that you will put their scholarship to good use.  You’ll need to show:

  • A focused vision for your future
  • A desire to make a difference in some way
  • Goals that will help you fulfill that vision
  • An excellent academic portfolio
  • Strong leadership skills

Start early to establish a strong record in the following areas:

Academic Excellence

You’ll need to have an excellent GPA and academic record, choose challenging courses, and choose courses that support the vision and goals you’ve set for yourself.

Extracurricular Activities/Awards/ Honors

Show community involvement with experiences that extend beyond the classroom.  Get involved sooner rather than later! Sustained involvement in an organization is more impressive than quantity.

Leadership is critical. You’ll need to be able to talk about how you effected change by your actions.


Researching in your field shows your academic potential. It also highlights your enthusiasm, commitment, and focus. These opportunities can help you grow as a scholar in many ways—apply!


Build relationships with faculty.  Start now. You may need up to eight academic letters of recommendation. Faculty who write letters must know you very well, and that takes time.  They need to comment extensively on your talents, skills, character, intelligence, work ethic.