There is no magic formula for applying for and receiving a scholarship. But these tips can get you started in the right direction.
(Suggested Read: Private Sources of Scholarships, Grants and Loans)
Every week or so, check your high school scholarship bulletin board for flyers and announcements about scholarship opportunities;
Use a reputable scholarship search service to help track down a wider variety of possible scholarship opportunities. Remember that many of these services charge a fee for searching their database;
Most scholarships will require you to fill out an application. To have the appropriate information readily available, make a list of awards you've won and activities you've participated in. Consider your talents in the areas of athletics, extracurricular involvement, leadership, volunteer work, art, theater and music. You also need to know your grade point average and class rank for many scholarship applications;
Counselors and administrators have application materials for many scholarships. You may need to call directly to some sources for applications and other information;
Deadlines vary. Stay alert for opportunities and be ready to fill out applications or write essays as quickly as you need;
Be organized. Stay on top of deadlines, gather all pertinent documents, and make copies of everything you submit. It is a good idea to send your applications by certified mail to ensure receipt;
Be honest. Don't exaggerate your grades, memberships, skills, or qualifications. It is better to focus on the scholarships for which you might be eligible; and
Follow instructions carefully. Some scholarships require you to write an essay; others may want letters of recommendation. Send in what is requested and proofread everything. Typos and missing materials can cost you a scholarship.