Winning a scholarship can make the difference between going to an average university or the school of your choice. According to Scholarshiphelp.org, “Filling out the scholarship application is a fact of life when seeking scholarships. Unfortunately, there is no generic form or format; each scholarship fund has its own methods and information needs.”
Research available scholarships. There are many different kinds of scholarships such as athletic and academic awards. Scholarships are offered by universities, private organizations and corporations.
Organize the materials that every scholarship application requires. Having multiple copies of transcripts, tax returns, letters of recommendation and financial aid forms readily available will speed up the application process.
Write a good cover letter. It creates a first impression, so you want it to be strong. Modify your letter to fit various scholarship applications.
Stick to the precise format. Tell the scholarship committee exactly what it wants to know. If it asks for “Fifty words about your high school experiences,” write an essay that is 45 to 55 words and check it with word count.
Fill in all the blanks. Even if you don’t think a category applies to you, write a sentence explaining why. Avoid using N/A.
Edit your work. It is difficult to see our own mistakes. Go back to the scholarship application after 24 hours to look for typos. You want your scholarship application to be error-free, so have a parent, teacher or friend who is a good writer read it.
Don’t overlook small or obscure scholarships. Sometimes they are not awarded because no one applies for them.
- Scholarship Help: Preparing the Application
- Scholarship Help: Homepage
- Prep Scholar. "How to Get a Full Ride Scholarship." Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.
- Sallie Mae. "Scholarship Search." Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.
- Scholarships.com. "Federal Scholarships." Accessed Jan. 21, 2020.
- Federal Student Aid. "Find and Apply for Scholarships." Accessed Jan. 21, 2020.
- Federal Student Aid. "Types of Financial Aid." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
- Eastman School of Music. "Financial Aid/Scholarship Information." Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.
- Eastman School of Music. "Eastman Need-Informed Scholarships." Accessed Jan. 21, 2020.
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. "The Gates Scholarship." Accessed Jan. 26, 2020.
- Sallie Mae. "How America Pays for College 2019." Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.
- NCES. "Total Fall Enrollment 1947-2028." Accessed Jan. 30, 2020.
- College Board. "How to Spot Scholarship Scams." Accessed Jan. 31, 2020.
- Finaid.org. "Common Scholarship Scams." Accessed Jan. 31, 2020.
- FinAid.org. "Scholarships for Children Under Age 13." Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.
- U.S. Department of Education. "Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)." Accessed Feb. 3, 2020.
- Sallie Mae. "How to Apply for Scholarships." Accessed Jan. 28, 2020.
Jody Hanson began writing professionally in 1992 to help finance her second around-the-world trip. In addition to her academic books, she has written for "International Living," the "Sydney Courier" and the "Australian Woman's Forum." Hanson holds a Ph.D. in adult education from Greenwich University.