Scholarship Application

Many students spend years getting ready for college. It takes a lot of time determining where to study, what to major in, what classes to take during high school to prepare for the rigors of college academics, learning how to prepare effective personal statements, getting ready for the ACT or SAT, filling out admission applications, and getting ready to move away from home. Even after doing all this, many students feel unprepared to complete scholarship application forms. Most experts have opinions about how to position yourself to qualify for scholarships, which could include participating in community service and extracurricular activities, what to include in personal statements, and what type of words to utilize on application forms. To better prepare for the actual application process, consider the following tips:

The Scholarship Application Process

To begin, find the best scholarship opportunities for you. Once you've located attainable and appealing scholarship opportunities begin applying for scholarships that most interest you, have not passed deadlines, and offer the most lucrative awards. To simply this process, develop a schedule to stay on task and save time. To improve your opportunities, begin looking for and applying for scholarships during the summer and fall months if you're already enrolled in college, or, if you're still in high school, during the fall months of your senior year.

Preparing Your Scholarship Application

Similar to applying for jobs, filling out scholarship applications require more information than just a name, citizen status, and birthdate. You'll be required to provide more than just basic contact information. Most scholarship application forms require letters of recommendation from teachers or employers, academic transcripts, cover letters, resumes, and multi-page personal statements. To save time and work effectively, gather everything you need, begin brainstorming for personal statements, and request letters of recommendations months ahead of deadlines. Additionally, don't begin writing your personal statement the night before you submit an application. Write multiple drafts and ask teachers, parents, and other professionals to review it for quality and errors. If possible, meet with people who've earned scholarships and get tips from them about writing personal statements. In many cases, you can use a single personal statement on multiple application forms, but make sure that each statement is tailored to the specific scholarship.

Even though using a single personal statement for multiple scholarships makes it possible to apply for numerous scholarships in a short amount of time, always closely follow application instructions. Skipping a vital step on any application form can automatically disqualify you for consideration. Carefully review each application form for completeness prior to submission. Always be professional and courteous when addressing members of scholarship committees. Many people are impressed by professionalism, and even if you're not awarded a particular scholarship, committee members could recommend you to other organizations offering scholarships. Review other resources on this site for scholarship application tips.

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