Getting a Scholarship is not an Exercise in Futility

Getting A Scholarship is not an Exercise in Futility | Based on the book: The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2018


Walter Mitty, a fictional character played first by Danny Kaye and later by Ben Stiller, is noted for his many and varied daydreams. In his dreams, he was the hero who saved the day, or the surgeon who performed the intricate surgery, or the war time pilot who completed the impossible bombing raid. Yet one thing was certain, these were only Mitty’s dreams. In regular lifer, Walter was meek, mild, and unsuccessful. Well what does that have to do with scholarships? I’m glad you asked. Getting a scholarship is not a pipe dream, nor is it an exercise in futility. There are simple strategies that you can employ that can increase the possibility of successfully landing scholarships. In our last blog we told you to think about all the civic groups, clubs, businesses, churches and organizations in your community. And that each of these was a potential source for scholarships. Today we’ll discuss how to broaden your search. The first thing we’ll do is search the Internet for something productive. There are many free online scholarship databases that you can access. Here are a few:

  1. SuperCollege (
  2. moolahSPOT (
  3. Sallie Mae (
  4. FastWeb (
  5. Careers and Colleges (
  6. The College Board (
  7. (
  8. AdventuresinEducation (
  9. CollegeNet (

These databases are starting points, but don’t rule out national scholarship awards. While they represent a tiny fraction of what is available, and claim to have billions of dollars available, they don’t list every possible scholarship that you might win. Professional associations, Big business, and Colleges are places to consider.

Hot Tip! Don’t look for scholarships alone!

Get together with friends. Immediately, you might think, why would I do that? I am increasing competition for a scholarship. But one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to look for scholarships alone. The writers of The Ultimate Scholarship Book found that the most successful people in finding scholarships were those who did not look for scholarships alone. Why does this work? Imagine meeting weekly with a group of people (preferably over a hot cup of coffee!) and the only rule is that each member brings two or three scholarship opportunities. One can easily imagine how a scholarship that you bring may not fit you, but might fit someone else in the group. Instead of benefiting from the fruits of your efforts, laboring together, in a group, doubles or triples the opportunities that might bring success.

Next Week, we’ll talk about, the importance of learning why organizations award scholarships, and how to think like a judge! For more information, invest in The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2018.

The Graduate School of Bible and Theology at Southern California Seminary.


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