Top Ten Tips for Winning Scholarship Applications
– by Kay Peterson, Ph.D. at FastWeb
Before you submit your scholarship application, check out these tips, provided by scholarship sponsors nationwide.
Tip #1: Apply only if you are eligible.
Read all the scholarship requirements and directions carefully to makesure you're eligible before you send in your application.
Tip #2: Complete the application in full.
If a question doesn't apply, note that on the application. Don't justleave a blank. Supply all additional supporting material, such astranscripts, letters of recommendation and essays.
Tip #3: Follow directions.
Provide everything that's required, but don't supply things that aren't requestedÃ¢â‚¬â€you could be disqualified.
Tip #4: Neatness counts.
Always type your application, or ifyou must print, do so neatly and legibly. Make a couple of photocopiesof all the forms before you fill them out. Use the copies as workingdrafts as you develop your application packet.
Tip #5: Write an essay that makes a strong impression.
The key to writing a strong essay is to be personal and specific.Include concrete details to make your experience come alive: the who,what, where, and when of your topic. The simplest experience can bemonumental if you present honestly how you were affected.
Tip #6: Watch all deadlines.
To help keep yourself on track,impose your own deadline that is at least two weeks prior to theofficial deadline. Use the buffer time to make sure everything is readyon time. Don't rely on extensionsÃ¢â‚¬â€very few scholarship providers allowthem at all.
Tip #7: Make sure your application gets where it needs to go.
Put your name (and Social Security number, if applicable) on all pagesof the application. Pieces of your application may get lost unless theyare clearly identified.
Tip #8: Keep a back-up file in case anything goes wrong.
Beforesending the application, make a copy of the entire packet. If yourapplication goes astray, you'll be able to reproduce it quickly.
Tip #9: Give it a final "once-over."
Proofread the entireapplication carefully. Be on the lookout for misspelled words orgrammatical errors. Ask a friend, teacher or parent to proofread it aswell.
Tip #10: Ask for help if you need it.
If you have problems with the application, don't hesitate to call the funding organization.