Tips for winning awards from our friends at CKI 

If you’re a senior in high school looking to go to college next year, you probably keep hearing about scholarships. So much goes into finding, writing, applying and being awarded scholarships that it can easily seem overwhelming. These tips will help you manage the scholarship process: 

  1. Get organized. If you plan to apply for as many scholarships as possible, you’ll get very busy quickly. Manage your time by scheduling the deadline for each application and knocking them out one by one as the due dates approach. Start early: Some deadlines will be here before you know it, and you don’t want to miss out on money. You’ll also need time to look for people to write your letters of recommendation.  
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. For most students, applying for scholarships is a new experience, so don’t hesitate to reach out for advice. Ask teachers, guidance counselors, college prep advisors and anyone else you trust to share their insight. 
  3. Obtaining letters of recommendation. A great letter of recommendation can take your application to the next level. These letters give the person reviewing applications a better picture of you beyond your academics. Find an instructor or counselor with whom you have a good relationship and who could best describe both your academic and personal achievements. Give that person advance notice so they have plenty of time to put together a solid letter. 
  4. Write about your leadership experience. Key Club offers members amazing opportunities for leadership and community involvement. Writing about these experiences is a great way to stand out from the crowd of applicants. The people awarding scholarships look for well-rounded individuals.  
  5. Expand your search. You might be surprised by the scholarship sources you find. Look online and around your community. Talk to anyone in your guidance office who can help you network. If you have an after-school job, check there. Some large companies offer college scholarships to their employees. You’ll also find unique scholarships like ones for left-handed or tall people. You never know what’s out there, and you just might get it. 
  6. Don’t overlook small awards. Anything and everything can help, and small scholarships quickly add up. Take time to apply for all scholarships available to you.  
  7. Check out the Kiwanis Children’s Fund Scholarship. The Children’s Fund offers scholarships exclusively for dues-paying Key Club members. Check out for details on how to apply. Also reach out to your sponsoring Kiwanis club to see if it offers any for your Key Club’s members. 

Circle K International is the world’s largest student-led collegiate service organization. Founded in 1936, CKI now has thousands of members on hundreds of campuses across five continents around the globe. CKI is committed to developing the next generation of leaders by offering unique service, leadership and fellowship opportunities that change the world — and change members’ lives. For more information, visit