Beyond GPA: Surprising Ways to Boost Your Scholarship Chances


For many students, the grade point average (GPA) is the most important metric when it comes to scholarships. But while a strong GPA certainly doesn’t hurt your chances of securing funding, it doesn’t guarantee an award either. , Dr. Dennis Doan, there are plenty of other things you can do to ensure that your hard work pays off—everything from taking on challenging classes and working in your field to showcasing skills and talents outside of class. Read on for some unexpected ways to boost your scholarship eligibility!

Leverage your work experience.

You may have heard that employers are looking for people with a strong work ethic and leadership skills. But did you know that admissions officers also look for these qualities in applicants?

Leveraging your work experience is one of the best ways to showcase what makes you unique, no matter how much or how little experience you have under your belt. In addition to highlighting leadership abilities, technical skills and communication skills on your resume or CV (curriculum vitae), consider including references from supervisors who can speak about how well they think you’ll perform at college level work.

Enroll in a rigorous major.

A rigorous major is one that requires you to take a lot of classes and earn a high GPA in them. Some examples of rigorous majors are biology, chemistry and physics. If you’re already enrolled in one of these majors or plan on taking it, then congrats! You’re already helping yourself get scholarships.

If not, here’s why it’s important: A higher GPA means more scholarship opportunities for students who are applying for them–and rigorous majors tend to have higher GPAs than other subjects because they require more work from their students (and thus better grades). In addition, many colleges look at the rigor level required by applicants’ intended majors when deciding whether or not they should accept them into their school; if this is true at your dream school as well as others where you might want admission someday soon (like medical schools or grad schools), then choosing such an intense path could significantly boost your chances at being accepted!

Explore extracurricular involvement.

  • Identify your interests.
  • Look for extracurriculars that align with those interests.
  • Find an opportunity to get involved in the organization or activity that interests you, even if it’s not a leadership position.

Show off your skills and talents.

You may be thinking, “I’m not the best student in my class,” but that doesn’t mean you can’t get scholarships. Scholarship committees are looking for more than just academic excellence–they want to see your skills and talents too! If there’s something that sets you apart from other applicants, make sure to showcase it on your application. For example:

  • Do you play an instrument or participate in a sport? Showcase your passion for these activities by including them on your resume or in an essay about why they’re important to you.
  • Do you have any special interests? Consider writing about one of them as part of an essay on why this field interests you so much (and make sure it aligns with the rest of your application).

Embrace diversity and inclusion.

You can also show your commitment to diversity and inclusion by demonstrating how you will contribute to the school’s community. For example, if you have participated in a community service project or worked at an organization that supports underrepresented groups, make sure to include this experience on your application. Avoid making any assumptions about what might be considered “diverse”–for example, just because someone grew up as an immigrant doesn’t mean they’ll automatically understand what it’s like being a first-generation college student!

Additionally, avoid falling into any stereotypes when describing yourself or others who share similar backgrounds; instead of saying “my family is Mexican,” try saying “my father was born in Mexico” instead. This way of framing things helps avoid generalizations while still giving enough information for readers (and admissions officers) to understand where applicants are coming from without pigeonholing them into one category or another based solely on demographic factors such as race/ethnicity or gender identity/expression

Some students may not realize all of the ways they can increase their scholarship eligibility beyond their GPA!

You might think that your GPA is the most important factor when it comes to scholarship eligibility. While this is true, there are other ways in which you can increase your chances of winning a scholarship.

  • To determine eligibility for admission into college, many institutions use SAT scores and high school GPA as part of their admissions process. The higher these numbers are, the more likely a student will be accepted into that institution’s program of study.
  • In addition to using SAT scores and high school GPA as part of their admissions process, some colleges also consider other factors such as extracurricular activities or leadership positions held within clubs or organizations at school (such as being captain). This can help boost your chances when applying for scholarships offered by these schools because they know how well rounded you were during high school!


In the end, it’s important to remember that there are many ways to stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of winning a scholarship. While GPA is still one of the most important factors in determining who receives funding, it’s not everything! Students should take advantage of any opportunity they have for exposure or engagement in activities related to their major or career path–and don’t forget about those extracurricular skillsets either! If nothing else comes out of this article than the knowledge that there are other ways besides grades alone for winning scholarships then we’ve done our job well enough.

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