Scholarship Application Tips


1.  Plan Ahead

Your sanity and blood pressure will thank you later if you DON'T wait until the last minute to apply.  If applying to multiple scholarships (there are lots out there) consider creating an Excel spreadsheet to organize dates, different essays and the requirements of each.  

2.  Follow Directions

Sounds easy, but many applicants don't take the time to read all the requirements and sometimes quickly skim through instructions.  Take a few minutes to focus on what is wanted in the application and essay.

3.  Consider Your 'Audience'

Approach submitting an application just like applying for a job.  You want to know as much as possible about what you are going after.  If there is a list of requirements that need to be met with the application, THAT is the key to becoming the perfect candidate.  Give strong examples of how you qualify when writing your essay.

4.  Write a Captivating Introduction

Catch the attention of the reader and provide just enough that they want to know more as they continue reading.

5.  Tell Your Story

This is your chance to shine!  Why do you deserve this scholarship?  Why should the review committee pick you over other candidates?  Share your passion for the degree you are working toward through your words and give readers the chance to feel like they have connected with you.  Write something you enjoy reading.  If you aren't excited about it, chances are your reader won't be either.

6.  Show Emotion

Don't hesitate in using words that show your emotions.  This can be a powerful way to create a connection with the reader and give them the chance to picture you as a person rather than just words on a screen.  You want the reader to be personally invested in your essay.  Real-life examples are a great way to get readers involved in your story.  Remember to stay positive and show passion.

7.  Proofread

Be sure to read through your essay a few times and consider having someone else read it for a "second pair of eyes" to make sure you don't have any spelling or grammatical mistakes. 

8.  Make Sure Your Application is Complete

A completed application may require a letter of recommendation.  Make sure you follow up and check that yours has been submitted before the deadline.  People get busy.  You may need to reach out a week before the deadline with a gentle reminder, asking for the recommendation to be submitted.  You don't want to write the perfect essay and then be disqualified for not having all application steps complete.