Scholarship Application Tips

Winning a scholarship or multiple scholarships to go to college, can mean the difference between being able to go to college and not going. There will possibly be hundreds, if not thousands of other people applying for the same scholarship as you are, you want to make sure that you make yourself stand out in the application and put forward the extra effort to increase your chances of winning the award.

Keep these tips in mind when applying for a scholarship:

  • Make sure you know all the deadlines and application dates for the scholarship. Each scholarship application is different and some will be offered through out the year, while others may be offered once before the fall semester begins. While there are others that only show up every few years or even once. You do not want to miss the perfect scholarship for yourself, due to not turning the application in on time.
  • Make sure you are organized and have all the documents that are requested in the application. One missed piece of paper work can mean that your application will not be accepted. Make sure to also make copies of all documents submitted and the application itself. If there is a problem or a request for additional information or copies, you’ll have it.
  • Send all documents for certified mail or signature required UPS or FedEx. You want to make sure they have received it and have verification. Again, in case there is any question about your application or when it was entered, you will have the necessary proof to show the application board.
  • Make sure to follow all the instructions listed in the application. Do not skip steps or not complete portions of information. Follow all instructions carefully and exactly as stated in the form. Whatever information they are asking for, make sure to turn in and complete. Missing information in a scholarship application will most likely mean that the application will not even be reviewed.
  • Read and re-read the application to make sure your are hitting the points that the scholarship is outlying and requesting. Missing the understanding of what the scholarship wants, will lose you the chance of winning it. Make sure to go above and beyond the requirements, but within the scope of the requirements. Basically, do more than just the bare minimum.
  • Re-verify the requirements for the scholarship. Make sure you have picked all the correct scholarships to apply to. Make sure you meet the requirements in terms of grades, extracurricular activities, the degree you are obtaining and any other prerequisites for applying. This can be a huge mistake and a lot of time can be wasted completing scholarship forms that you do not qualify for. Also, as the deadline to turn in the application draws near, make sure that you still qualify for the scholarship. Things can change and this will change your eligibility as well.
  • Ensure that your essay is solid. Specifically write about what the scholarship is asking for and do not be vague. Use concrete examples and sightings, really form the thesis, body and conclusion. Use examples that can be proven, while at the same time adding yourself into the writing. This is a huge part of the scholarship application and many scholarships require an essay portion as part of the process.
  • Proofread, proofread and proofread again. Check the application and the essay multiple times. Any time you make any changes, check it again. Look for spelling and grammar errors, sentence structure and clarity of the essay, as well as the application. It is amazing how even filling out an application can become convoluted and unclear. Check both sections multiple times and allow others to re-read it as well to make sure it sounds clear to them. Allow someone else to also check for spelling, grammar and sentence errors too. Having another set, or a few sets, of eyes look at the application can make a world of difference.
  • Lastly and maybe most importantly, be honest within the application and essay. Do not exaggerate who you are, your academic success, your reasons for going to college, any memberships you are a part of, your qualifications and skills and anything else the application asks for. Tell the truth. Highlight your strong points, without going over the top and exaggerating them.

Applying for scholarships are time consuming, but well worth the reward. Making sure to pay attention, go above and beyond expectations and be honest and up front will help to increase your possibilities of winning the scholarships you are applying for.

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