This cannot be emphasized enough: start researching and applying to STEM scholarships early. There is great value in the phrase “The early bird gets the worm.” Early research – starting in ninth or tenth grade – allows students to seek guidance, prepare their materials, gather necessary items and review applications thoroughly before the submission deadlines during junior and senior years. Applications should reflect a student’s highest quality work, therefore flawless, well-planned responses are crucial. When a dedicated student begins this process early, they will complete the application with time to spare. Once a student is certain that every requirement has been met, submitting the application early will work in their favor. Not only does this reflect positively upon the student’s work ethic, it also alleviates unnecessary stress due to rushing to complete applications.