We know applying to scholarships can be daunting. There are so many to choose from and knowing how and when to start can be tricky. Strong applications require work, but the win is worth it. At Scholly, we are always looking to help our users win as many scholarships as possible. Here is our formula for success:


The early bird gets the worm with scholarships. If you’re looking for scholarships for any school year, start your search the summer before that school year. Fall is a popular time for scholarships looking to sponsor students, especially prospective college students. No matter your grade, you’ll want to get organized over the summer to be ready for applications opening from mid-August throughout the semester.


Scholarships are available all year round and we add scholarships to our database daily. Make sure you’re checking Scholly regularly so you don’t miss free money opportunities. Our platform supports high school, college, and graduate students so you can use Scholly throughout your academic career. We also have in-app tools to help you organize your applications. Make an application timetable to help you knock out your applications consistently and on time.


Scholarship panels are made up of people and people are subjective. Research the organization sponsoring the scholarship before applying. If it’s a non-profit, what’s their mission? If it’s a company, what’s their culture? Look into the organization’s work to see which values they champion. Can you highlight experiences or awards that speak to these values? Understanding judges will guide how you communicate with them and gives you an edge over applicants who haven’t done research.


Now you know who you’re trying to win over, you can tailor your application to them. Speak to the characteristics the program is looking for in an application. If the essay topic is open-ended, choose one that tells your fullest story. An important thing to remember is that we are all humans who share similar wants and insecurities. Tell a relatable story. You want the person reading your application to think, “I feel that” or “I’ve been there before”. Run your essays through Scholly Editor to refine your writing.


You won’t win every scholarship you apply to. While this is frustrating, it does not mean you should give up. A scholarship, i.e. free money, is always a better option than a loan. Even if you have a great financial aid package, scholarships can provide spending money. If you don’t win a scholarship, ask for feedback so you can keep improving your applications. For every scholarship you don’t win, there is another one out there waiting for you to claim it.

Eager to get started? Find and apply for scholarships now!