Unless you have been living under a rock you have probably heard about artificial intelligence platforms like OpenAI. Some are excited about the possibilities created by artificial intelligence, others are worried about potential problems created by machine learning. Being the resident nerd at EducationQuest I thought it would be an interesting experiment to ask OpenAI for five tips on how to earn scholarships and compare that to what our expert staff has written in the past.
OpenAI: Start early: Begin your scholarship search well in advance of the deadline to give yourself plenty of time to find and apply for scholarships.
Jason: I couldn’t agree more with the AI here. There is a hockey saying, “you miss every shot you don’t take.” If you don’t know the scholarship exists, you can’t receive it. This is a major reason why we added filters to ScholarshipQuest so that even as a first-year high school student you can see your options as a third and fourth-year student.
OpenAI: Be organized: Create a spreadsheet or folder to keep track of scholarships you have applied for, deadlines, and any required materials.
Jason: This tip is one of the hardest for students to get a handle on. Earning scholarships is a time-consuming and difficult process. Those who are the most organized are often the most successful. I have written a lot about apps that can help you track projects; my personal favorite is Asana.
OpenAI: Tailor your application: Make sure your application is tailored to the specific scholarship you’re applying for. Customize your essay and letters of recommendation to match the scholarship’s requirements and goals.
Jason: When EducationQuest started our blog I remember writing about this tip. Our readers pointed out how difficult this can be. Educationdata.org reports that only 7% of students will receive a non-athletic scholarship. I read a tip once that you have to apply to 10 scholarships to receive one. You can see how tailoring applications is the best path to success, but it requires a lot of effort and planning on your part.
OpenAI: Show your personality: Many scholarship selection committees look for well-rounded students with strong character and a unique personality. Let your own voice come through in your application materials.
Jason: The AI took a while to get there but it’s important that you showcase what makes you special and how that relates to the purpose of the scholarship. It lends itself back to the third tip where each scholarship is looking for something different. There are many adults in your life who can help you practice how to showcase your uniqueness, let them help you.
OpenAI: Follow up: After submitting your application, follow up with the scholarship committee to make sure they have received all the necessary materials and to express your continued interest in the scholarship.
Jason: Walk a fine line here. You want to show that you care about the scholarship, but you don’t want to seem like you are begging. Realize that the awarding process takes time, always ask when you can expect to hear about the next step, and don’t reach out before that date.
Overall, the AI produced some great tips that will help you earn scholarships. In the future, I think we will need to write a follow-up blog for tips on planning for college and paying off student loans. Make sure you follow us to know when we write those.
By Jason Combs