Ten Steps to a Strong Scholarship Application

How to simplify scholarship applications:

Scholarships don’t have to be paid back, which makes them an excellent way to pay for college! There are thousands of scholarships available, so, to increase your chances of getting an award, apply for more than one. You should start looking into scholarships and request applications throughout the spring and summer of your junior year of high school. This will give you time to meet application deadlines.

Here’s 10 suggestions for simplifying your scholarship application process:

  1. Get organized. You should keep and protect copies of your scholarship applications or printouts of applications that were submitted online in order to reuse or get inspiration from them later.
  2. Have your photo taken. Some applications request a photograph of the applicant–a simple, professional head shot will suffice.
  3. Draft a good resume. Prepare an academic resume that includes all organizations, clubs, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities you have participated in. Include any honors and awards you have received in high school and after, both from school activities and extracurricular activities.
  4. Request recommendations. Gather at least three recommendation letters. Ask teachers, counselors, and clergy members. Avoid getting recommendations from family members or peers.
  5. Obtain your high school transcript. Keep copies of your high school transcript available in case it is requested as part of an application. If a scholarship committee doesn’t specifically ask for an official transcript, include only a photocopy, but if they want an official transcript, request one from your school.
  6. Write general essays ahead, then customize. Essays are often one element of a scholarship application. You can draft up something general on your goals, achievements, and financial need. Always be sure that you tailor your response to address the specific topic.
  7. Set up a simple, conventional email address. Make sure you set up and use an email address that represents you well and that doesn’t sound odd or offbeat.
  8. Track due dates. Pay close attention to all due dates and track them on a calendar. Applications will not be considered if they are not received by the due date.
  9. Submit your application exactly as requested. For example, if the scholarship committee asks for the application, transcript, resume and two letters of recommendation, make sure the documents are presented in that order.
  10. Make copies before submitting. If you have a paper application, make a copy for your records before sending. It is recommended that you send an application with delivery confirmation so you have proof that it arrived before the deadline.