Hey everyone! I’m in kind of a weird situation at the moment. I’m a Texas resident who’s ranked at the top of her class. I’m looking to apply to any public Texas school that gives me the most scholarship money. Being lazy in nature, I came down here to ask a couple questions about the scholarship process so I can save myself some time during the application process.
There’s a Texas law that guarantees students admission to any public Texas college as long as they’re in the top 10% percent of their class. I’m ranked first in a class of 290 people and have an ACT score of 35. I have strong ECs with state-level flute playing recognition plus some leadership roles in band.
When colleges award merit-based aid in the form of scholarships, do they bother looking at the essays that you submit on the college application? As far as I know, merit scholarships directly from institutions come from test scores and grades. Is there anything I would be missing out on by not filling out optional essays (even the Common App essay. Will I be less likely to qualify for my first choice major? It’s biochemistry by the way) or requesting letters of recommendation? Is it better for me to focus my energy on private/institution scholarships rather than spending time on the redundant application process? Will my financial aid package suffer if I don’t put much effort into my essays? Due to covid, half of the application process has become optional, and I can’t say it’s not tempting to just fill out my profile and not bother with the extra stuff.