Tips on Applying
The biggest tip we can give students looking for scholarships is to apply, apply, apply! Not everyone is awarded a scholarship right away, so don't be discouraged; persevere. Intensify your search. Keep a record of all scholarships and reapply each year.
Here are some additional tips:
Scholarships can have different deadlines. Use a calendar or planner, make a schedule, and stick to it. If you miss a deadline, even by just one day, you may not be considered.
Give yourself plenty of time to complete each step of the application. It is usually obvious when applications are rushed and incomplete applications probably won’t be accepted. If an application requires a letter of recommendation, think carefully about who should write these letters and choose people who can speak to your strengths and ability to overcome your weaknesses (letters from family members are generally a no-no). Give your recommenders no less than two weeks notice so they have time to write the letter. Be prepared to provide them with additional information about yourself or the scholarship. Make sure to follow up with your recommender to assure that your letter was submitted.
- What career do you hope to pursue?
- How do your goals and ambitions relate to the implied goals of the scholarship?
- How do your qualifications compare to the requirements of the scholarship?
- What are your past successes, achievements, honors received and positions of leadership held?
- What are your abilities and potential?
- Where do you want to see yourself in five years? Ten years?
What accomplishments and in which way would you like to be remembered?
Be Your Own Cheerleader
- Applications will often ask you to talk about what you do with your time. As uncomfortable as this may feel, this is once in your life when it's necessary to brag. Tell them about recognitions and awards you've received. Emphasize activities that show your talents and passions, especially things that demonstrate your ability to lead, take initative, persist through adversity, and care for your community. Don't underestimate yourself - employment and family responsibilities can say a lot in your favor as well.
Write a Great Essay
- Think carefully about the question being asked and use this opportunity to tell the selection committee things about you that might not be shown elsewhere in the application. Get help with editing for grammar and spelling, but do your own writing and most importantly, be sure to answer the question that is being asked.
Try and Try Again
- Keep trying even if you don’t win a scholarship right away. Save copies of every application that you complete so you don’t have to start from scratch every time. Update the qualifications to match each new application.
For assistance in locating possible scholarships try the FastWeb (Financial Aid Search Through the WEB) scholarship search service.
Remember, when searching for financial assistance such as scholarships you should not pay any money. The websites we recommend are legitimate and offer free assistance in searching.