The scholarship application process is a delicate one and should be treated as such. There are various ways to go about it, and there is really no fixed set of rules. In this article, we are going to look all the things you need to know on how to apply for scholarships.
1. Familiarize yourself with the different types.
First and foremost, you need to be aware of the different types of scholarships. There are institutional scholarships and private scholarships. Institutional ones are offered by the school where one is applying to, while the private scholarships are from individuals or organizations that are not connected to the college or university you want to attend. Get in touch with the financial aid office of the school you want to attend to get more insight on their institutional scholarships. For private scholarships, you can scour the internet for entities offering them.
2. Check to see if you meet the criteria.
After you have settled on the scholarship you want to apply for, it is important to make sure you meet the requirements of the scholarship. Most scholarships require you to meet certain criteria from academic to financial to character-based. This is important to consider since it saves you a lot of time in the sense that, there’s no need for you to apply for a scholarship whose requirements you don’t meet.
3. Writing Essays
A number of scholarships require the applicant to write an essay. The essay questions are normally the same across the board. An example is, “How would this scholarship help your community?”. With this question, the sponsors are looking for applicants who are interested in community development and are service-oriented. While writing this essay, explain how the scholarship will aid you in achieving your academic goals and how you will use your education in serving the community.
4. Get Organized.
Get yourself separate folders for every scholarship you apply for and arrange them by their application due dates. Also, gather up the things necessary for you to apply. These usually include; high school transcripts, standardized test scores, parents financial information, financial aid forms and proof of eligibility for the scholarship.
5. Letters of Recommendation.
Scholarship sponsors require letters of recommendation. The letter can come from either an academic referee like a teacher or character referees like pastors or employees. The referee, however, should not be a friend or relative.
6. Keep copies.
Make sure you keep copies of everything so that if materials in your application get lost in the mail you can resend it quickly and easily. If you are applying online, save copies of your application on your computer.
After the application process, make note of the waiting period. Smaller scholarships have a shorter waiting period compared to larger ones. Also, let the scholarship sponsor call you unless you are worried about the sponsor’s ability to contact you. For example, if there is a change in your contact information then you can get in touch with them to see if there is a way to for you to update it.