When to Start Applying for Scholarships for College

By | January 15, 2024

Parents and students are always surprised when I tell them that there are scholarships out there for students as young as 4 years old. Perhaps that surprises you as well! It’s safe to say that most students don’t even think about applying for scholarships until the bill comes in the mail from whichever college or university they decide to attend. When to Start Applying for Scholarships for College

When Should I Start Applying for Scholarships?

On the other hand, for every student who has already begun the process, I hear a resounding “Yay!” (of course, many of these young students may have more expensive college educations than your typical student. It is unrealistic to expect all students to be able to foot the entire bill for college). Any given student can choose when to start applying for scholarships and grants.

For example, if they choose to go to a school where it takes at least $50,000 a year to cover a typical student’s tuition costs, then it makes sense to apply for scholarship opportunities before enrolling in college. Another reason to start applying for scholarships right out of high school is because the general rule of thumb is to apply for scholarship opportunities as early as possible.


The Importance of an Early Start

If you’re a student, don’t wait until the last minute to get your financial aid package. It’s more than likely that you may be required to fill out a FAFSA form as part of your admission process, and you don’t want to miss out on scholarship opportunities. For instance, the FAFSA is something that helps you see if you qualify for federal aid in the first place, so start the process early.

But don’t think that once you’re in college that you’re off the hook for scholarship applications, because it’s the exception, not the rule. Even if you’re a junior in college, you’re still in the application process. Start by setting up an appointment with your college financial aid office to determine your eligibility for financial aid.

Who Is Eligible To Apply for Scholarships

Every student has the opportunity to apply for scholarship funds. This includes students who: Are in high school Still in high school Are in college Live in the USA Learn one of the official languages of the country they are from Are a US Citizen Are able to work part-time or full-time Live in another country, except Mexico The list goes on! When to Start Applying for Scholarships for College: A Guide For Students We have gone over when to apply for scholarships, but when to start applying for scholarships for college is another question.


Every student needs to think about what their goals are and how college will help them reach those goals. Before you decide to start applying for scholarships for college, ask yourself: What’s my ultimate goal in college?

What Are the Steps to Apply for Scholarships?

You can apply for scholarships at any age, but I would encourage students to apply for scholarships when they are at least 16 years old. Your freshman year of college, when you’ll be getting used to college life, is the ideal time to apply. Keep in mind that your school might have its own program for students in their freshman year. Most scholarships require that you have a certain GPA.

This doesn’t necessarily mean your grades need to be 3.0. It could be a GPA of 3.4 or even higher. This doesn’t mean you need perfect grades. However, you do need to know what makes the difference between certain scholarships. For example, a $500 scholarship might pay for 40% of your college tuition, whereas a $1,000 scholarship would cover 100% of your tuition.

How Do You Decide Which Scholarship to Apply For?

There are so many scholarships out there that students must decide what they really want to do when it comes to applying for scholarships. The first step is determining your eligibility. Then, you should figure out the applications and deadlines for each scholarship and start applying.

It’s not an easy process, but it’s one that you need to follow. Even if you don’t think you qualify for a scholarship, it can be beneficial to submit the application anyway. You have no idea if you’ll be denied a scholarship, so don’t waste time or money by not filling one out. How To Find Scholarships For College When a student decides to apply for a scholarship for college, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are applying for one in particular school.


There are plenty of ways to earn scholarships for college tuition and expenses and there are also scholarships that are geared towards financial aid as well. At least you know what scholarships you can apply for and how to go about it. At the very least, start collecting those pictures and newspaper clippings of your accomplishments. You never know what kind of money you might make from them.


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