Finding scholarships you qualify for can be a daunting, difficult task.

Trust me, I know. My family needed the additional funds, but I didn’t qualify for any government aid or assistance. In fact, we only qualified for loans…ONLY LOANS! ?

What do you do when your FAFSA results don’t provide additional funding?

What do you do when you need more money to cover college expenses?

What do you do when you know that the money you have isn’t enough?

You look for scholarships!

But what if I told you there is one thing you can start working on today that will instantly help you do the following:

  1. Increase the number of scholarships you’re eligible for
  2. Get insight on scholarship applications
  3. Stand out against other students

It all starts with knowing how to talk to the right people. And because I didn’t qualify for any government aid, this was one of the best things I could have ever done.

People You Need to Contact to Win Scholarships

Who are these “right people” you might be wondering?

Well first, you need to understand the role these people play. They’re called Key Scholarship Influencers because they influence multiple parts of every student’s scholarship process.

Here are a few Key Scholarship Influencers you should contact today if you haven’t already:

  • Admissions Offices
  • Counselors and Advisors
  • Departments
  • Financial Aid Offices
  • Mentors
  • Special Programs
  • Teachers, Instructors, Professors
  • University Administrative Assistants
  • University Personnel and Staff Members

There are more, but this is a great place to start.

(And before you say I’ve already done that and it didn’t help, finish reading this post.)

Key Scholarship Influencers receive a ton of information across their desks. But what if they’ve never met you or your family, heard your story, or built a relationship with you over time?

How will they know if you need help?

How will they know how to help you?

Remember, I said you need to know how to talk with the right people.

Get a Card of the Future

You see, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur; I just had no idea what type of business I wanted to run. Therefore, I created a card that represented where I wanted to be in the future.

You should’ve seen people’s faces when I passed them out. However, people didn’t forget me because I was the only student with one.

The Front of My Card

The Back of My Card

This single action proved to be one of the most influential things I’ve done on my scholarship journey because it made me stand out immediately.

While some may call them business cards, that’s not what they are. They’re actually “Cards of the Future”.

Why? Because I focused on the impact I wanted to create.

Do you know how many high school and college students walk around with one of these? Not many (business majors included).

Most students collect cards but never think to give a card to a Key Scholarship Influencer.

Even today, I still pass out a unique card. People don’t forget me.

Stop being a card collector. Become a card connector.

The right people will connect with the things you or your students are trying to accomplish.

If you need ideas or are struggling with your Card of the Future, post over in our Free Scholarship Talk Facebook Group or in the comments below.

Be a “C Student” If You Want to Win Over $100,000 in Scholarships

Once they had my card, I wanted Key Scholarship Influencers to stay in touch…I wanted to “connect” with them. I sought to build genuine relationships by consistently following up and reaching out.

It doesn’t take much to follow-up. Consider the following:

  • Checking in to see how they’re doing
  • Sending a handwritten thank you note
  • Asking for their expertise or thoughts regarding a question
  • Seeing if you can assist them with anything
  • Or even wishing them a happy birthday

Again, it’s about developing relationships with people. As the saying goes:

“Help enough people get what they want and you’ll get what you want.”

Now I’m NOT telling you to “suck up” or “kiss butt”. No one wants to be that person; people can smell insincerity a mile away because you get what you give.

[clickToTweet tweet=”There’s a fine line between kissing butt and connecting with others. It starts with intention.” quote=”There’s a fine line between kissing butt and connecting with others. It starts with intention.”]

If they see initiative, leadership, ambition, and determination – they’re going to be willing to bend over backward for you.

I bet the first thing they’ll say is, “Yes, I remember you. We exchanged cards.

How This Increases Your Scholarship Chances

So, you read this post to determine how to find more scholarships. Here’s how in a nutshell:

  1. You’ll increase your scholarships chances by getting in front of the right people known as Key Scholarship Influencers.
  2. You’ll stand out by leaving them with your Card of the Future.
  3. You’ll build, develop, and enhance your relationships with them over time…you’ll truly connect.

Students that understand this get results. I’ve seen students have the following kinds of success:

  • Having their financial aid packages restructured so they qualify for “work study”
  • Being given the “inside scoop” when it comes to the number of applicants applying for a scholarship
  • Being recommended for certain opportunities that they otherwise would’ve ignored

[info-box type=”success”]Real Talk: The truth is that some scholarships and opportunities are based on who you know and who knows you.[/info-box]

I’m not insinuating anything illegal occurred at these high schools, colleges, and universities. What I’m saying that the students who get remembered receive extra help. Help equates to large sums of money.

I’ve seen it all too many times, and I’ve heard numerous stories. Just remember, any relationship you form should be authentic.

Get to know these people, what they care about, and who they are.

I sincerely hope that after college you will stay in contact with them. You may cross paths with them again; it’s just the way the world works.

Get started on your Card of the Future and let me know how you’re progressing.

Feature Image Artwork Credit: iStockPhoto/ThomasVogel

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