Top 5 Reasons High School Juniors Should Start Applying For College Scholarships

Madeleine Karydes
Madeleine Karydes

Madeleine attended UC Berkeley and double-majored in English and Media Studies. She is now an integral part of the Empowerly team.

As a high school junior, you’re probably already stressing out about the reality of college.

On top of your high school classes and other commitments, you face college applications, studying for the SAT/ACT, and engaging in extracurricular activities.

Sadly, most college admission counseling experts and high school counselors agree: families are least likely to apply to scholarships early on, especially as early as your junior year.

Yet, as Empowerly and any first-rate college admission counseling organizations agree, applying pre-graduation offers you many unique upsides.

This post will present you with the five best reasons to apply for scholarships before your senior year.

1. You’ll have the benefit of time.

College admission counseling experts encourage students who ask when to start applying to colleges to apply as early as possible.

Why? Quite simply, it gives you the benefit from time.

This practical advice naturally applies to scholarship applications too. It’s a perfect example of why you should apply for scholarships as early as your junior year. With the upper hand of  time, you can better prepare for every scholarship’s requirements with the same attention to detail.

Therefore, you’ll never have to worry about running out of time while gathering materials, like letters of recommendation, writing essays, and scores. With time on your side, college admission counseling authorities acknowledge that you’ll maximize your chance of winning scholarships.

2. You’ll have less competition for prizes.

Even long-time college admission counseling professionals wonder why high school students get so immersed in thinking about college applications early; but still, generally neglect thinking about how they will pay for it.

Have some extra time during the planning stages? That makes your junior year the ideal time to focus on funding your college education.

While others obsess over the college selection process, you can use your time wisely.

Find the scholarships that are a perfect fit for you, as well as meeting their deadlines without missing a beat (or getting overwhelmed). Best of all, many college admission counseling organizations agree that there is less competition the year before you graduate compared to the mad rush that expectedly occurs your senior year.

Stay one step ahead of the crowd to ensure your own best options, and practice your writing skills before you even start your college essays.

3. You can quickly narrow down your college choices.

An obvious but untapped benefit of applying for scholarships as a junior is that it can efficiently narrow down your college options.

College admission counseling experts warn that many students ignore their education costs when searching for a school.

For those who, like many, will not pay for tuition out-of-pocket, financial aid is a critical consideration. Similarly, applying for scholarships will force you to look at colleges closer to what you can afford. Rest assured that this advice won’t leave you with the cheapest choices for college.

Instead, applying for early scholarships will provide you with a much-needed reality check.

College admission counseling services recommend researching what precise scholarships can comfortably cover the costs of the specific colleges you are interested in, including expensive institutions.

Applying for scholarships as a junior will give you a head start in narrowing down your options and finding how to fill the financial gaps if necessary.

4. You can better find ways to fill in the financial gaps.

If you follow our college admission counseling advice, you can gain a head start by applying for scholarships your high school junior year and narrowing down your college search based on what you can afford.

That’s a good way to get started. Nonetheless, while full-ride scholarships are available, they are likewise few and far between; less than 1% of each year’s incoming college freshmen receiving full scholarships. That means, you will probably face “financial gaps” that need attention later on.

Although you may already have a few scholarships, college admission counseling professionals help finding more ways to fill the financial gaps while avoiding student loans.

That means continuing your scholarship search, so you remain debt-free until graduation.

5. You’ll avoid stressing out over scholarships your senior year.

Finally, by applying for scholarships before senior year, you’ll avoid the stress of thinking about how to pay for college last minute.

This is especially critical if you’ve been accepted to a school with a hefty price tag.

College admission counseling organizations found that students have more peace of mind by submitting their scholarships early and avoiding the impending deadlines (and the possibility of last-minute disasters that can make your book-end year in high school a horror movie).

No one wants the worst to happen, but preparing for something unexpected means you’re ready for something great.

Most college admission counseling experts also agree that early scholarship applications can inspire you to make the most of your senior year.

Nothing is more inspiring than focusing on staying ahead of the pack when it comes to scholarships and other awards, to secure your college education and beyond.

high school juniors applying for college

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