Filling out a scholarship application should be pretty easy, right? You would think answering questions about yourself would be pretty simple, but these applications are asking for more than just your name and address. Scholarship judges are hoping to get to know you as well as what you’re passionate about and working towards in terms of academics and your career.
While every scholarship application is different – as well as every applicant – there are some helpful tips that will apply to everyone and every scholarship
1. Prepare for the application process.
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Most scholarship applications are more than just a form or essay. Some require your high school transcript while others will ask for letters of recommendation. In preparation for the application process, you should start formulating who and what you need from teachers, counselors, etc.
2. Follow the directions.
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After filling out countless college and financial aid applications, you may think you’ve got the gist of this whole applying thing; but you should never assume that a scholarship application is like any other form you’ve ever completed. Not that scholarship sponsors are trying to trick you, but following the instructions is paramount. After all, one misstep could have your scholarship application thrown into the trash.
3. Stay organized.
If you’re applying to multiple scholarships, which you should be doing, it can be easy to confuse deadlines. That’s why you should not only keep track of deadlines with your planner or a calendar app, but also organize scholarships in separate folders by name and deadline. In the folder, you can keep all of the components of the scholarship application that you may be working on, like the form, essay
4. Check once, check twice and keep track.
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Before you submit your scholarship applications, check that you’ve answered every question, followed all instructions and made corrections to all typos and mistakes. If you’re reusing components from another application, make sure you’ve updated anything on the application that may refer to another scholarship or foundation. When sending your application via email, follow up within a week to ensure the scholarship committee received all pieces – or if sending by mail, make sure you purchase tracking and follow up to guarantee it has been delivered.
Finally, make a copy of all components of each application and store them in their designated folder. This will especially come in handy if you need to review your application before a scholarship interview
or supply a component that may have gone missing.
Remember, every scholarship is different, but these application tips will apply to all scholarships to which you apply. By being prepared, focused and organized, you’ll maximize your chances of winning a scholarship.