College scholarships offer a great opportunity to help you pay for school … and avoid student loans or financial aid that you have to pay back later! However, not all scholarships offer the same amount of money. The range can be large. Some scholarship opportunities may offer $100 while others give out tens of thousands in prize money. Knowing this inspires important questions about how many scholarships you can apply for and how many you can win at once.

So, can you apply for multiple scholarships? Are you able to win more than one college scholarship at a time? Yes! But, it’s important to know that you may not be able to hold them all at one time. We’ll cover this in more detail below.

Applying for multiple scholarships is a good idea. It’s proactive. It also increases your odds of success. And, while the money is great, winning multiple scholarships can also make you a stronger candidate for postgraduate or competitive employment opportunities.

Whether you’re a high school, undergraduate, or graduate student, applying for multiple scholarships should be part of your academic game plan. While tuition and other educational expenses soar, you can position yourself to be less stressed about paying for college. Let’s cover some other important reasons you should regularly do a scholarship search and apply for prizes.

There are Many Types of Scholarships

It’s important to know that the type of scholarship you apply for can make a big difference in how much money you get. It’s also important to know that different types of scholarships exist—and some of them might be better suited to your profile than others.

It’s easy to think that all scholarships are created equal, but that’s not true! You can receive scholarships for a variety of reasons. For example, Merit scholarships are based on extraordinary achievement, meaning that you have to have great grades, test scores, or extracurricular activities to win the award. Other scholarships are based on need, meaning they’ll only go to those who whose family income is below a certain level. Often, these awards will ask students to file a FAFSA and qualify for federal student aid to be eligible (note: if you’re on some form of financial aid or have a student loan, it’s always good practice to inform your school of scholarship wins because it may change your financial assistance status).

There are other scholarships, too, like those based on student-specific qualities or interests—for example, there are scholarships for Hispanic students, scholarships for women, scholarships for STEM, scholarships for engineering students, and there are even highly-specific prizes like scholarships for bird watchers. There are also different types of scholarship providers, including colleges, government, and private organizations. The number of opportunities is huge. Do a scholarship search to see for yourself!

In saying this, you should examine what kind of scholarships work well with your academic and personal profile.

Applying Many Times Will Help You Navigate the Scholarship Application Process

If you’re a high school or college student, you know how important it is to get a scholarship—especially if your parents aren’t paying for your tuition. Scholarships can help you pay for school and give you valuable experience in the process, so it’s worth applying to as many as possible.

But why should high school and college students apply to multiple scholarships? Because the more applications you write, the better you’ll get at writing them! If you’ve ever written an essay for a scholarship application and then gone on to write another one, this probably already makes sense to you: after writing your first few essays, it becomes easier and easier to write them again. That means that by applying for multiple scholarships, you grow more competitive for those scholarships that are most likely to accept you (and therefore most likely to fund your education).

In addition to practicing your writing skills, applying for scholarships helps you build other important skills: first, you’ll be forced to think critically about how you can best articulate your story in an essay, which is something that employers look for in job applications as well. Second, it forces you to think about what makes you unique and what sets you apart from other applicants. Third, it gives you practice with a variety of styles and formats. Overall, this process will enhance your communication skills, which is an asset.

So, when it comes time to sit down and start writing those essays, remember: the more essays you write, the more likely you’ll be to land a college scholarship.

You Might Actually Win One!

The logic seems self-evident. The odds of winning a scholarship increase when you apply for multiple.

It’s as simple as that. Apply for scholarships … often.

Maybe you’ve heard something like this before: “The more you apply, the more likely you are to get something.” It’s true! Both in life and when it comes to scholarships. You see, when you apply for one scholarship, it’s like throwing a dart at a wall. If you hit the bullseye, great—you get money. But if you miss, well…that’s it. There’s no second chance.

But when you apply for multiple scholarships at once, it’s like throwing darts at multiple walls—you have more chances to hit the bullseye and win some cash.

So yes, even if it might seem like a lot of work (or like there aren’t enough hours in the day) to apply to many scholarships, keep at it! Because with each successful application you move another step closer toward being able to afford college.

You Might Win More Than One!

You might think that a college student can only hold one scholarship at a time, but it isn’t true!

Many college scholarships have eligibility criteria stating that you can hold multiple scholarships.

Some students think that they cannot apply for more than one scholarship and are missing out on thousands of dollars in free money. However, most scholarship opportunities will have clear terms and conditions and eligibility criteria. If you meet all the requirements, then you should definitely apply for as many scholarships as possible. You should be aware, though, that some big scholarships don’t let you hold multiple awards – meaning you may apply to many scholarships, but you may only be able to win one at a time. Again, always check the terms of a scholarship prize and because these details are laid out there.

Ultimately, scholarships and their selection committees have unique requirements, so it’s important that you read through each scholarship’s eligibility criteria carefully before applying.

Increase Your Chances of Winning a Big Scholarship Opportunity

There are only so many big prizes out there—and even fewer for high school students who have yet to attend college. If you win multiple small awards early on, though, you’ll be in a better position to land the big scholarship later on. While small amounts of scholarship money won’t make a huge difference in your budget, it’s about building a record of achievement that will lead to bigger wins in the future. In other words, small prizes are an investment in your future self.

You see, when you’re applying for college scholarships, it helps increase your odds of winning when others have already shown this belief in you. If you win multiple scholarships, that means that other scholarship selection committees have had positive things to say about your application and profile. This is positive for you and increases your chances of being selected as a finalist or winner in the competition. It also shows scholarship providers that they should consider awarding you bigger ones down the road! You can also use this to your advantage for career development as employers will look positively on your track record, too.

So even if you don’t want to go after any big scholarships right now (which is totally fine), make sure you’re putting yourself out there and taking advantage of all the opportunities available to start winning some awards!

Lowering College Expenses … Worth the Effort

If you are serious about attending college and want to make it as affordable as possible, then apply to every scholarship possible. It’s worth the effort.

College is expensive. Thankfully, there are plenty of scholarship programs available to help reduce the cost of a college education. These scholarships are a great way for you to get an extra boost toward paying for your tuition, while also giving  you an opportunity to focus on other aspects of your life such as academics, internships, or a part-time job.

Ultimately, the more scholarship applications you submit, the better your chances are of getting at least one of them. Good luck!