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How I won OVER $1 MILLION in scholarships for college | Scholarship Tips

hello and welcome to my kitchen again I

tried to switch up the scenery it did

not work so we're back in my kitchen but

welcome I am so excited to be here

talking to you about scholarships today

really scholarships are so important and

they are so underrated in the college

process a lot of kids go in and they

don't even know about all the different

scholarships that are available to them

so I am making it my job to inform you

about some of the scholarships that you

may be eligible for to start off with a

little disclaimer yes I see the title I

did win a million dollars worth of

scholarship no I did not accept a

million dollars worth of scholarship

money I knew that a lot of it would be

redundant and I did not need it and

other kids could use it so I did not

accept all 1 million dollars I only

accepted the scholarship money that I

needed however I will be going over some

of the scholarships that I won and some

other scholarships that you should be

aware of and keep track of for the

future so let's get right into it

- everybody new here welcome to my

channel my name is McKenna I'm from

Colorado I would love for you to join me

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when I post a Q&A so to start off

scholarships I divide them into about

three categories first one institutional

scholarships of course institutional

scholarships

from the school's themselves they can be

both merit and need based sub schools

offer both some schools offer only one

of those types of aid specific things to

watch out for is if they meet 100% of

need and if they meet 100% of need

without loans so some schools they'll

say like they'll cover 100% of your

demonstrated need but they'll add in

about six thousand dollars of loans

which is much different than a school

that will cover 100% of need and zero

loans so be sure to watch out for the

schools on your list that do that

schools that offer merit in schools that

offer need-based scholarships so some

notes for international students

international students I I lack in my

knowledge of international student

scholarships however I did find some

things for you guys one was a website

called edu pass org edu passed that work

and they have a whole guide on there

their website is basically dedicated to

students who are looking to study in the

United States from other countries so I

would definitely check out that website

again I've not used it myself but it

seems like it has some really useful

resources along with a list of

scholarships for international students

looking to study in the US another note

that I had written down for myself was

that international students are eligible

many times for merit scholarships at

state schools so a lot of the top

schools like the Ivy's they don't give

out merit scholarships everybody's smart

who goes there they'd be run dry on

merit scholarships but state schools

like the University of Colorado does

give merit scholarships to out-of-state

students and other schools can give it

to international students as well I'm

not sure about the University of

Colorado specifically but I definitely

look into it another note is that if you

are applying for financial aid at any

school in the United States be aware it

might switch you over to a need aware

process so for students in the United

States many schools like Harvard or

Stanford they are need-blind to finances

so if I needed a lot of money to go to

and attend their school they wouldn't

take that into account when they're

admitting me to their college for

international

students many times that process

switches and it becomes need aware

meaning that if you are looking for

financial aid at those schools it does

contributes to whether or not you get

into that school so be aware of that in

the process make sure you if you are

even a u.s. student that you are looking

to see if your schools are need aware if

they give good financial aid and just

all of the above merit aid need-based

aid because those are super important

things in the process also use the net

price calculator on all of your schools

schools are required to have a net price

calculator on their website so go and

like search up Stanford net price

calculator and you will get basically a

general idea of what you'd pay to attend

that school with their institutional

scholarships not taking into account

outside scholarships the second category

that I have is major national

scholarships so I have quite a few

examples of those I applied for a lot of

them one of them would be like the Coca

Cola scholarship they're really hard to

get about ninety three thousand people

applied for that one this year and only

150 are selected every year to win the

scholarship so it's extremely difficult

to get major national scholarships but

they usually offer a lot more money than

this next category which is local and

regional scholarships those are

typically smaller sums of money and they

come from local organizations such as

the Lions Clubs Elks clubs and Kiwanis

so in this video I'm going to be

covering a lot about the major national

scholarships because those tend to apply

to more people and local and regional

ones from Colorado don't apply to people

in Nebraska so I will be talking about

those specifically but I will talk about

a lot of the major scholarships and the

ones that I won so major scholarships

major national scholarships can be

divided into some sub categories as well

the first one is merit only based

scholarships that would be ones like

Coca Cola that don't take in income or

background into evaluating your

application the next one would be need

plus merit which means that they're

looking at your family background your

access to resources and other things in

your life along with your academic

and your other merits so another thing

that I really want to talk about and

make clear is that every single

scholarship just about except for

institutional scholarships that are

based on need always take into account

merit they always do on some sort of

scale of course they consider other

things if you're looking at one that's

need-based but they're gonna choose the

kids who demonstrate the most need and

the most merit so that also ties into

the next one which is demographic based

plus merit scholarships meaning

demographic as in ethnicity demographic

as an intended major it can mean a lot

of different things but it's based on

putting a certain criteria of background

plus merit as well so again not everyone

is eligible for every scholarship there

are tons of scholarships out there

though there's tons of scholarships for

international students for people who

identify as a certain ethnicity who come

from a different income background who

are interested in science if you're

interested in the arts like there's an

endless number of scholarships for

people it gets really really specific

like there's tall people's scholarships

there's just tons of them and not

everybody qualifies for every

scholarship of course but these are some

major scholarships that a lot of kids do

qualify specifically in the United

States the first scholarship I want to

talk about of course is the coca-cola

scholarship it is what I would say is

the nation's most popular scholarship

with over ninety three thousand

applicants this year that's an insane

amount that's almost as much as like

UCLA gets for their college

it is a twenty thousand dollar

scholarship twenty thousand dollars

total here's a very special thing about

the KU Cola scholarship so you are

eligible to use it for up to ten years

meaning that you can save it and not use

it an undergrad and use it for med

school or graduate school or literally

whatever you want as long as it's a

credited institution so that is

something very special with a cold

scholarship another thing that's very

special about the coca-cola scholarship

is that it is the most difficult

scholarship to get is a very very

heavily merit-based scholarship so it's

a very heavy I'm volunteering very heavy

on what you active in your community

doing extracurriculars and things like

that so be aware of that

you apply to the coca-cola scholarship

it is not just grades it is not just

test scores but it's also you have

there's multiple rounds where you start

off and it's basically you're just cold

by your activities and then the next

round you go on to and you're cold by

your essays and then you go to an

interview round so first of all it goes

from ninety-three thousand to twenty

five hundred and then from twenty five

hundred it's cut down to 250 then from

250 it's cut down to 150 so each time

the odds get a little bit better but

they also get a little bit worse and so

be aware that each round if you're

applying for the scholarship looking for

different things but also the same

things all collected into one it's very

tough scholarship to get but it's

definitely worth applying for so make

sure that you look out for it if you

were a u.s. student

so the second scholarship I wanted to

talk to you guys about is the elks most

valuable student scholarship your

winnings could range from four thousand

dollars to fifty thousand dollars so

it's a very wide range scholarship it's

heavy on service and merit but also on

need and there is no need cutoff but

they do consider it one of the special

things about the Elks scholarship is

that it starts out at the local level so

Elks their club and they have different

chapters and each individual chapters so

if you're applying for it you'll be

applying for X chapters scholarship and

you'll be named under that chapter if

you're a winner I am under the boulder

chapter and when you move on you move

from the local level which is your

individual chapter to the state level

and then from the state level to the

national level and then there's five

hundred total national winners and of

those five hundred total national

winners twenty receive at least twenty

thousand dollars and so it moves on from

one basic essay and then you don't have

to write anything until you get to the

national level and then once you to the

national level they asked for a second

essay which is why should you be

considered for their scholarship weekend

and you have five hundred words to

answer that in the best twenty out of

the top 500 earn twenty thousand dollars

at least and then a couple a slight few

some will earn thirty thousand some

learned forty thousand and one girl in

one boy will each earn

thousand dollars from Elks so it's a

great scholarship to apply to the Elks

are amazing people they do wonderful

service work and I really had a great

time on their virtual scholarship

weekend this year so the next top

national scholarship that I'll tell you

about is the gate scholarship it is a

need plus merit-based scholarship

meaning that you have to meet a certain

income cutoff to qualify for

scholarships so as to be something in

below to qualify what is unique about

the gate scholarship is that a they

choose a lot of people to win it so

about 300 people win it every year and B

it is a last dollar scholarship meaning

that it covers a certain range of money

for your school depending on how much

you have left after the school's aid and

other aid that you are provided what's

nice about that scholarship is not a set

amount meaning that it will try to cover

as much as possible for you meaning that

if there is a gap in your financial aid

so this is their last dollar scholarship

if there's a gap in your financial aid

and say there's five thousand dollars

that you need to get covered they will

cover that five thousand dollars that

your institution or other scholarships

are not covering so what's very unique

about that is that they will cover the

gap but there's no set amount that

they're giving you so they're not giving

you ten thousand dollars a year but they

will cover fluctuations in your

financial aid based year to year they

also allow for students to take out

money to buy technology which some of

these organizations do a lot of them do

and they have a scholarship weekend as

well just like Elks and just like

coca-cola what really sucks about being

2020 senior is that I did not get to

experience any of the scholarship

weekends this year it would have been so

cool to be able to meet all the fun

people and just get to know them there's

so many interesting people that I've

been introduced to just online and I

wish I got to meet them in person so the

next scholarship I have for you guys is

a very very specific and special

scholarship it is called the quest

bridge college match and so quest bridge

is a foundation that works for

low-income and first-generation students

specifically and it tries to provide

college access so they have two

different programs the first one is the

college prep Scholars Program for

juniors which you should look into a

curate lowan

Jr and the college match for seniors and

so the college match is a very special

process and much like the common app or

the coalition app you apply to colleges

through the quest fridge app however

there is a specific stipulation that

goes along with applying through

colleges through the quest fridge

application which is if you are matched

to a college other than maybe the four

that they specify that are not binding

you are bound to attend that institution

and so when you do the college match I

think you get to rank 12 colleges that

you would be willing to attend or you're

interested in attending so let's say I

ranked 12 colleges and at the very top

of my list was Stanford and at the very

bottom of my list was I don't want to

name a college so we're making up a fake

college duster and duster college was

still on my list right but I don't

really want to attend there however if I

put it on my list and none of the other

colleges that I listed wanted to match

me with their school then duster came in

and duster did want to match you at

their school I would be bound to

attending their institution but the

benefit of the quest fridge application

is the fact that if you get matched with

a school 100% of your school is covered

by quest fridge so the stipulation is

that if you rank schools on the quest

fridge application you are forced to go

to whatever school you match with unless

it's like Stanford which is one of the

few schools that don't actually bind you

but the benefit is that you get to go

for free it is a total cover scholarship

and it's making sure that you can afford

college if you are in low-income or

first-generation student the quest for a

location also has an income cutoff I

don't remember what it is I did not

apply through quest bridge but you can

find it at quest fridge org go there you

can find out more information about both

the college match and the college prep

scholars college prep scholars awesome

they give out scholarships to juniors

you can buy technology with the

scholarships you can apply to different

summer programs and they'll cover it for

you so definitely look into that if you

are looking in the summer programs and

you see the sticker price and you don't

think you can afford it even if

they're offering scholarships quest

fridge can help you afford those really

really tough to afford summer program so

there are a couple scholarships that our

demographic base I can share to you so

the Hispanic scholarship fund the

Spanish scholarship fund scholarship

that one also offers a range and it

offers that to students who are not only

in high school but also coming from

community colleges and going into grad

school and the Ron Brown scholarship

this is a scholarship I want it's for

high achieving african-american students

and if you qualify you are allowed to

apply for that one now on to some quick

tips first of all look for them before

your senior fall and make sure that

you're applying to scholarships in your

senior fall a lot of scholarships you

know they'll have deadlines right around

the same time that colleges have their

deadlines and if you missed those you

can't make them up there's no Regular

Decision vs early action you you just

have to make sure that you make those

deadlines so keep a chart keep a

calendar and be conscious of when

deadlines are coming up and which

scholarships you're eligible for a

second tip that I would give is to make

sure that you display your whole self in

your application make sure that you're

not leaving out things and when they ask

you why should you win this scholarship

tell them tell them about all the things

that you love and the things you're

passionate about and don't just say well

I think I should win it be honest tell

them all the amazing things that you do

because if you don't somebody else will

so you need to boast about yourself a

little bit and then lastly make sure

that when you go into any situation when

you're talking about the scholarship

whether it's an interview or you are

writing your paragraphs about it for

essays that you have at least three

things that you want to make sure that

you mention in every single scholarship

you apply to you should have at least

three things about yourself that are

essential to understanding who you are

make sure you know those things by heart

because if you have an interview you

need to have those topics to make sure

that you bring up because for me I know

that I really love the Black Student

Union

I worked super hard on that project I

love computer science so I talked about

my research and I'm really passionate

about my service so I talk about my

service activities and those are the

three things without

I make sure that I mentioned not only in

every single application that I fill out

but every single interview that I go

into and at this point every time that

I'm able to get an interview I've been

able to win the scholarship and I think

it's just because I'm able to talk about

those things I love and go into exact

detail about them that is my fourth tip

in detail don't be brief don't say I

just enjoy doing this one thing make

sure that you actually detail out what

you do why you enjoy it and the things

that you really truly love about it

because if you don't do that again

somebody else will and they'll be the

person who wins the scholarship so when

you're looking to find scholarships it

can be really really difficult

especially if you're looking for smaller

scholarships large scholarship websites

I have a few listed right here you can

go to Scholarships comm capex yuna go

big future by the college board there's

a lot of different options for finding

those large big-ticket scholarships that

are really hard to get smaller

scholarships are much harder to get it's

best to go to your guidance office at

school or just see if your school knows

of any local scholarships that are going

out usually local scholarship

organizations will inform schools so you

should check there those websites can be

useful I use them I sign up for almost

all of them however they are riddled in

ads and they mainly have sweepstakes or

different ad scholarships so be by

companies and it's not really you just

sign up for their mailing list you're

not really applying based on any type of

merit so be aware that those

scholarships the sweepstakes ones are

I've never met somebody who's won one so

look for the actual legitimate

scholarships that have an application

process and they are out there they're

hard to find but sometimes a simple

google search is really your best friend

i google-searched almost all of the

scholarships that i applied to and just

came up on them so I would highly

recommend searching whatever wherever

you're from scholarship whatever you're

interested in scholarship make sure you

have undergrad there because sometimes

we'll get grad school scholarships or

scholarships that you're not necessarily

eligible for but those can be great

resources Google is a great resource and

so are those websites sometimes so to

answer the

big question of how I won over a million

dollars in scholarship the number one

answer to that I applied to a lot of

scholarships I applied to almost every

single scholarship that I found that I

was eligible for and it was a long and

tedious process that coincided almost

exactly with my college application

process meaning I was just every single

night writing a lot of applications in

total I applied to 25 scholarships I

have heard back from 17 at this point I

have won 12 of those 17 and not won five

of those 17 of those five that I didn't

win zero of them I moved on to the

interview round of the ones that I did

win 100 percent I moved on to the

interview round so post interview I won

100 percent of the scholarships I

applied two of those twelve scholarships

that I've won eight were large national

scholarships and four were small and

local scholarships it's really important

to apply to a wide variety of

scholarships whether that be based on

your major your background the large

scholarships versus the local and small

scholarships it's definitely much easier

to win the local and smaller ones so

watch out for them and if you can find

them apply for them when you can make

sure you keep your counselors up to date

if you need letters of recommendation

because it can get really hard for a

counselor who has a lot of students to

make sure that they get their

recommendations in on time so be

courteous with them give them time to do

those recommendations and be courteous

of yourself and give yourself time to

fill out those applications because they

can ask a lot of questions and it's

really really important that you are

thorough in your answers on them if you

check in the description of this video

you can see a link to a collection of

resources that I've put together for you

guys it is a collection of different

scholarships that I applied to our found

and different resources on the college

process I'll hopefully have more of

those available soon and check out my

Instagram if you want to see any of the

AMAs that I've done based on college

stuff and just keep up to date with my

college process there are a lot of

scholarships that are out there to apply

to and the best way to become aware of

them is by keeping track of them so you

should keep a running list of all the

scholarships that you find that you're

eligible for it doesn't matter what

grade you're in make sure that you know

those scholarships and keep those on

hand

for a later date when you're eligible to

apply for them so I keep a spreadsheet

spreadsheet so if you guys noticed that

in my first video you're like what is

this thing called death and it was in my

bookmarks tab and it's called death to

McKenna so a special spreadsheet and I

keep all of my dates and deadlines for

different programs scholarships fly-ins

bunch of stuff like that and it's how

I've kept track of my whole high school

career it is all in that one death -

McKenna spreadsheets a very well-known

spreadsheet at my school but I highly

recommend that everybody started a

spreadsheet doesn't have to be as

complex as my spreadsheet is but they

will help you keep track of very

important things you can link stuff in

there you can make sure that you have

the dates that they're all due the

criteria for in requirements and

eligibility stuff like that that's

really important to keep a hand on so

make sure you start a spreadsheet that

is my recommendation and thanks for

watching

oh and be sure to subscribe for more

college content I swear it's gonna be

great it's just just me

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