How to Write a College Scholarship Application & Resume

by Barbie Carpenter
Take time to write a strong scholarship application.

Students applying for college or graduate school scholarships need to submit both an application and resume. While the application requirements will vary depending on the organization funding the scholarship, students can expect to include general personal and academic information. Resumes display a student’s academic background, work experience, honors and awards and extracurricular activities. A well-crafted scholarship application and resume will increase a student’s chances of receiving the scholarship.

Writing the Application

Collect your most recent biographical information. Provide your full name, current address, phone number and email address so that the scholarship committee can contact you. Some scholarship applications may require your date of birth and Social Security number as well.

Compose your academic history. Scholarship committees want to see your academic background in full detail, including the names of the schools that you have attended and the degrees earned. Include the school’s full name and address as well as your years of attendance.

Find references. Scholarship committees want to hear from past professors or employers about your academic performance, work ethic and ability to succeed. Contact your references before listing them on your application–you should give them warning so that they aren’t caught off guard if the scholarship committee contacts them.

Write your personal statement. Many scholarship applications require a statement that explains your academic and career goals with the scholarship in mind. For example, if the scholarship is for new college graduates, explain how your family’s academic history has pushed you to succeed and earn an advanced degree. Focus on how you will take advantage of the scholarship opportunity and use it to advance your education.

Writing the Resume

List your educational achievements. Include the school names, dates of attendance and degree earned. Include information such as your GPA and class rank, which illustrate your academic success.

Include any work experience. Although some students do not have much (or any) work experience, even part-time or summer jobs qualify. Focus on tasks that relate to the scholarship for which you’re applying. For example, if you’re applying for a journalism scholarship, note how your internship at the local television station allowed you to develop investigative reporting or headline-writing skills.

List every honor or award. If you were on the honor roll, include that information. A successful resume shows the scholarship committee that it is investing in a student who takes her academics seriously.

Include relevant extracurricular information. Community service participation and leadership roles in campus organizations are impressive extracurricular activities. Scholarship committees will be inclined to reward a student who has contributed to his community or school organization.

About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.

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