Tip # 1 – Determine to Work Very Hard
- There is no easy way out. Hard work on your part in the scholarship research and application, like many others, could result in finding that perfect scholarship.
- Determine that you will spend countless hours on the internet and considerable time writing essays and filling out applications.
- Please don’t think that with a couple of simple emails you find a sponsor or a scholarship – This is really hard work that will taken along time and you must be committed before you start the process
Tip # 2 – Locate Many Scholarships
- In your research, look for many scholarships and submit as many applications as possible. Applying for many scholarships improves your chances of getting at least one or more.
- Don’t be discouraged by the overwhelming amount of scholarship materials available.
Tip # 3 – Identify the Scholarship goals.
- Try to understand the sponsor’s motivation in offering the award. Do they want to promote interest in their field? Do they want to identify promising future researchers and business leaders? If you can identify their goals, you can direct your application toward satisfying those goals, increasing your chances of winning the award.
- Evaluate yourself in relation to the requirements:
o What career do you hope to pursue?
o How do your goals and ambitions relate to the implied goals of the scholarship?
o How do your qualifications compare to the requirements of the scholarship?
o What are your abilities and potential?
o Where do you want to see yourself in five years? Ten years?
Tip # 4 – Apply only if you are eligible.
- Read all the scholarship requirements and directions carefully, and make sure that you are eligible before you send in your application. Your application will not be considered if you are not qualified to apply.
- If you have carefully read the requirements and fulfilled them all, your application will shine through. It will go straight to the top of the pile and get a faster response.
- If you do not qualify, do not apply. Submitting such an application is a waste of your time. It also indicates you have not done your homework and do not respect the application guidelines and requirements.
- Apply for all you qualify for, even if you do not think you will win. You never know.
Tip # 5 – Plan, Write, Edit, and Rewrite Essays
- Some scholarships ask for an essay. You must be able to write about a wide variety of topics. These may or may not be exciting to you. Train yourself to write in a thoughtful way. Be sure to demonstrate that you are a scholar or you have the ability to be one.
- Give concrete examples. If your answer to an essay question is abstract, support it with a concrete example that illustrates your point. The scholarship sponsor wants to see evidence that you satisfy their criteria, not just unsupported statements.
- In writing essays, create a compelling portrait of yourself, your abilities, and position your skills and strengths as deserving the support of the scholarship committee.
- Scholarship committees award funding to candidates they can understand and who distinguish themselves from the crowd by their ability to communicate their ideas and abilities well. Show your strengths and distinguish yourself from others applicants with similar grades.
- Do not send the same CV & essays to different scholarships. Adjust them accordingly.
Tip # 6 – Check, Check and Check Again
- Your ability to submit a neat, timely, complete application reflects on you. It is the face you present to the sponsoring organization. Take pride in yourself by submitting the best application you can.
- Read & Follow the Instructions – Completely
- Proofread your application: Review everything. Typos are a sure way not to be considered for a scholarship. Consider asking a parent, teacher, or friend to read your application. Check spellings, grammar, and punctuation.
- Most scholarships require transcripts. Others require you to write an essay or submit letters of recommendation. Send in what is required. Missing the requirements can cost you a scholarship.
- Many students fail to follow directions. You can give yourself a competitive advantage by reading the directions carefully.
- Provide everything that is required. But do not supply things that are not requested. You will not impress and you might be disqualified.
- Be sure to complete the entire application. If a question does not apply, note that on the application. Do not just leave it blank.
- Neatness counts.
- Make several photocopies of all the forms you receive. Use the copies as working drafts as you develop your application packet.
- It is always best to type the application. If you must print, do so neatly and legibly.
Tip # 7 -: Write an accomplishments resume.
- Sell yourself; present yourself in the best light, but be honest.
- Compile a list of all your accomplishments. This will help you identify your strengths and prepare a better application.
- Give a copy of the resume to the people who are writing letters of recommendation for you. They will be able to work some of the tidbits into their letters, making it seem like they know you better.
- In awarding scholarships, organisations and universities look at many factors such as your application, academic transcripts, presentation, essays, community involvement, leadership skills, special talents etc.
- Be honest. Don’t exaggerate your grades, memberships, skills, or qualifications. It is better to focus on the scholarships for which you might be eligible.
- Remember, in scholarship application the powers that be want to know three things: why is it important to you, why it is right for you and why you are right for it. Your application should be built around this message.
Tip # 8 – Beat the Deadlines
- Learn to get organized and keep track of multiple tasks such as deadlines and multiple applications. Have your CV, academic transcripts, research proposal, and other possible requirements ready at all times.
- This will help you beat the deadlines and avoid rushed entries especially for scholarships that are announced close to the deadline, giving you weeks or a month to apply. In addition, be sure to have referees who are ready to send out references at a short notice.
Tip # 9 – Take steps to make sure your application gets where it needs to go.
- Before sending the application, make a copy of the entire packet and keep it on file. If your application goes astray, you can always reproduce it quickly.
- Make sure your name (and social security number, if applicable) appears on all pages of the application. Pieces of your application may get lost unless they are clearly identified.
- Do not send transcripts, applications and letters of recommendation separately; if possible, send a complete packet.
- Keep copies of everything you send: If your application is misplaced, having copies will make it easier to resend your information quickly.
Tip # 10 – Beware of Scholarship Scams
- Be alert for services that solicit money in exchange for guaranteed scholarships.
- If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Never pay for a scholarship search.