How do I apply for a scholarship?
In this article, we would be discussing successful tips on applying for scholarships, kindly take time to peruse and apply accordingly:
- Organize, prioritize, and apply on time: make sure to take notes when you research for scholarships. Write down the scholarship URL (if you found it online), the amount of the scholarship, what you need to include in the application, the deadline, and who it is for. Once you have finished your research you should prioritize the scholarships that you have found. Which scholarships are you most likely to get? Which is most valuable? Which has a deadline that comes up soon?
- Apply for many: the more scholarships you apply for the better are your chances to actually get one, and maybe you will get lucky and get more than one scholarship. But make sure to put in the effort for each application you make. A sloppy or incomplete application will not get rewarded so it is better to do 5 good applications than 10 bad ones.
- Apply early to your preferred school: schools are the biggest scholarship givers. Many schools let you apply for their scholarships at the same time that you submit your application to study there. They will only award scholarships to accepted students and scholarships are limited so make sure to apply early (more than six months before your course starts) to increase the chances of getting a scholarship from your school.
- What do I need to include in the application: this will vary between different scholarships so make sure to send everything that is required. The most commonly requested documents are a CV/resume, an essay, a transcript of your grades, financial aid documents, and letters of recommendation. Let’s have a closer look at some of these items below.
- Essay: your essay is very important in order to secure a scholarship. Don’t just write something quickly and put it in an envelope. Work on your essay. Write it piece by piece and let the process take a couple of days. Make sure that you convince the reader why you want to study at a particular school or program and why you need this scholarship. Be passionate, personal, and engaging. Maybe you can tell a story from your life to make a point. But also pay attention to what the scholarship organization is asking for and if they have a limit to the number of words you can use. Once you have written a good essay you just need to adapt it to fit each application.
- Letter of recommendation: for many scholarships you also need to enclose a letter of recommendation. This should not be written by your mother or your boyfriend or someone else who primarily have a personal relationship with you. It should be written by a teacher, employer, or a coach who knows you and your talents from a professional point of view. If you plan to apply for many scholarships it can be a good idea to ask your references to give you more than one signed copy of the letter and make sure that it does not include unnecessary details like the name of the scholarship that you are applying for. Also, remember to thank your references for their help.
- Make your application stand out: for competitive scholarships it is important to make your application stand out from the crowd. An excellent academic record and/or an inspiring essay is a good start. You might also want to include a photo and maybe use a colorful envelope or a special stamp without overdoing it. If you have some strong references or merits you can include them even if they are not mandatory. Maybe you even record a Youtube-presentation and include the link and a QR-code if you are comfortable in front of the camera. However, what works for one scholarship application might not work for another. Sometimes it is best to stay strictly formal. Try to get a feeling for the organization that you are applying to. If you have contacted them in advance they might remember you which can be helpful.
- Submit your application: always apply before the deadline. Make sure that you have included everything that they ask for in your application. Double-check your essay and CV for spelling and grammatical errors and make sure that the address and label on the envelope are correct. Don’t forget to sign the application and include your contact details. Then it is time to let it go and wish you the best of luck with your scholarship applications!