The College Scholarship Process and Why It’s so Important



Will Bird ‘22 receives his award of a full ride scholarship to University of Oregon. Bird made spectacular use of his abilities and applications during the scholarship process. “What always stands out in essays is a piece with a variety of saturated emotions” says Bird.

Lauren Rogers, Head Editor

Scholarships are defined as  “financial aid awards designed to help students pay for college.” Sometimes a scholarship is a one-time award, and other times, they are renewable for all years of school. There are national, state-wide, and local scholarships, all of which may have different deadlines, ranging from early March to July. There are also need-based financial scholarships and others based completely on merit. 

Scholarships for College begin to open up in early winter of a student’s senior year, and they are the next step for students after they have submitted their applications. However, information on these scholarships and their deadlines can be overwhelming. The process does not stop as soon as you hand Brenda Wilkins the packet. 

According to administrative assistant Wilkins, “if it is a completed application including the document request form (yellow), I [she] will attach any letters and transcripts they have requested. The completed packet is either mailed to the scholarship committee they are applying to or someone one from that scholarship committee will stop by and pick up the packets.”

Usually, seniors meet with their counselors after submitting their college applications. There, the counselors will give out websites such as, Nhheaf, and fastweb for national and state scholarships. Many of the scholarships HBHS students apply to are local ones through Naviance. Students “can always use Google [to find scholarship information], but we have many scholarships available on Naviance,” said Wilkins. The local ones also have less competition than the national scholarships and may even give out more money. Counselors recommend filling out a mix of both national and local scholarships. “The more applications a student fills out, the more chances of receiving more money,” said Wilkins. 

On Naviance, scholarships can be found under the College tab, and there are college-specific scholarships as well as local, regional and national ones listed. Most scholarships are due in early March to mid-April. Usually, scholarships are announced at an awards ceremony towards the end of senior year, after May 1, also known as “Decision Day” for colleges. Make sure to  check your specific college’s website because they have their own scholarships or grants that can be awarded applications

A senior at HBHS, William Bird won a full ride to his university via scholarships and grants. “Enter every essay, every application, and especially every interview like you’ve already won the scholarship. It’s that confidence that’s going to stick out more than anything else”. The bird will be attending the University of Oregon in the fall and was awarded his aid at a ceremony celebrating his achievements. 

All in all, scholarships and grants are a great way to lower the cost of college and to gain extra outcomes based on your merit achievements. For students, the college process begins to ramp up in junior year. Make sure to start scholarship research early and prepare to showcase all of your outstanding abilities and accomplishments so that you can begin to prepare.