As college prices rise, parents and students are more interested in scholarships. The largest scholarships awarded often come from colleges. Smaller awards generally come from community and professional organizations and businesses.
It is important that students apply for scholarships and for parents to realize that there is no way to know whether students will win any scholarships. I frequently get calls from parents of students who have a solid B average and great activities wondering how much they are likely to win. The answer is that there is no way to know. It will depend, in part, on the qualifications of the other students who apply.
What is important is that students apply for scholarships for which they meet requirements. The way to know what the requirements are is to read the eligibility requirements of scholarship applications. An additional source of help for students to help them decide if they are competitive is the qualifications of prior year winners. If the eligibility requirement is a 3.0 gpa but prior winners had much higher gpa's or if they tended to be in accelerated programs, students can compare the academic and other qualifications of winners with their progress to see if the time required to apply is a good investment of their time.
The time of students is an investment. Time spent on scholarship applications is time they could be spending on academics. Time allocated to scholarships should be for scholarships for which they have a good chance of winning.