Are you in one of the prime of your education years? While some people can cruise through life without any scholarships, many of us need financial aid. Sometimes, it can feel like the dream is too big to even dream. Worry not! We are here to tell you all that is to know about scholarships. We will give you a detailed report on how to apply for scholarships.
Unlike college loans, scholarships don’t have to be paid back. That’s the best thing. But, in this ever-competitive world, it can be difficult to stand out. You need to know which scholarships suit you and how to make your essays attractive. Time is also of the utmost importance when you apply for scholarships.
Here’s How To Apply For Scholarships!
1. Find A Scholarship That Suits You
There are a variety of scholarships out there. The task is to find the right one for you. Several organizations look for eligible and talented students whom they can assist financially.
Scholarships are categorized based on race, economic status, or other family backgrounds. One excellent tip is to figure out what category you come under. For example, if you are in the U.S, you can search in the U.S Department of Labor’s Scholarships. If your family has a military background, you can look at Federal Student Aid.
Likewise, you can find your perfect category as well.
2. Are You An A-Level Student?
If you are an excellent student, why not use that to your advantage? Many colleges actually exempt your tuition if they consider you deserving of a scholarship. That means, if your ACT or SAT scores are great, you might even get paid by colleges to study on their campus.
You can look for scholarship information on your desired college’s website. Or, you can also check their financial aid office.
One thing to note is that different colleges have different amounts reserved for scholarships. And the levels, based on your GPA, will also vary.
3. There Are Service-Based Scholarships
People often ask how to apply for scholarships. The simple answer for that is to look for it. Did you know that there are service-based scholarships as well? Well, if you have been committed to some community service, research if some organization puts a grant aside for this service. For instance, AXA Achievement Scholarships are worth $10,000.
4. Visit The College Counselor Guide In Your School
We often forget that we have college counselors in our schools whose sole duty is to counsel students on their higher education. These counselors often keep track of all the local scholarships.
There are, in fact, several people around you that can help you. If you are a member of an organization or a church, ask the authorities how to apply for scholarships. They will surely help you.
Get Your Application Ready To Apply For Scholarships
1. Keep Track Of The Due Date
This is one of the most important aspects when you apply for scholarships. It is a very competitive field, so they won’t make exceptions for anybody. Create a clean calendar and Mark at least five days before the due date, so that you can review your application.
Another thing you should do is apply for multiple scholarships. Your chances will only increase.
2. Get The Required Documents Ready
This step is a tiring one and can be quite confusing if you are not familiar with the documents. So, make sure that you do this beforehand. Look through the forms and make a list of the required documents. Get help from your school’s college counselor or your parents.
3. An Appropriate Resume Is Impressive
Create a resume, if you don’t have one. In the resume, you need to fill whatever extracurricular activities you have participated in. Fill your education details in as well. Don’t worry if you think you don’t have enough activities, the college authorities will judge on the basis of your application as well. If you have some work experience, fill that in too. The college administration just wants to check your work ethic out.
Prepare Your Scholarship Essay
1. What Is The Organization Looking For?
You need to draft your scholarship essay according to your true self. If you remember, we asked you to apply for scholarships that fit you. And if you have followed that advice, this will be easy for you.
Simply look at the organization’s page and see what their goal is. Why are they providing scholarships? Read it carefully and draft your scholarship essay accordingly. Never lie in your essay, simply keep both yours and the organization’s interest in mind.
2. Be Specific When You Apply For Scholarships
The organization will receive thousands of applications. It’s very easy for your application letter to drown in that. So, to make an impact, you need to let your personality shine in the essay. Be specific and tell stories about yourself. This is your moment to make them understand that it is you who they are looking for. Just keep in mind that you must be your authentic self. And don’t be afraid to tell them your dreams and aspirations.
3. Follow The Prescribed Format
The first round of checks is where they check if the applicant has followed their prescribed format. This shows your professionalism as well. Make sure that your essay follows their format, such as word limit, paper format, and grammar. Always proofread your essay, a poor grammar check will immediately turn the scholarship providing organizations off. These are very tiny details, but details matter.
4. Ask Someone You Trust To Edit The Essay
It’s always good to have a second pair of eyes proofread your essay. That way, the tiny mistakes that you may have missed will get cleared. But remember that you cannot let anyone rewrite your essay. The essay is about you, and you need to follow your intuition.
The best advice we can give on how to apply for scholarships is to be authentic. Be true to yourself and that will filter onto your essay. Your essay has to tell who you are and what you are interested in. You can also include why you are the candidate to get the scholarship. Trust yourself. Only then, you can make them trust you.
Letter Of Recommendation To Apply For Scholarships
1. Get An LOR From Someone Who Knows You Well
This is one crucial step in getting a positive response for your scholarships. The first thing you need to do is get in touch with someone you know well. Keep in mind that they should not be a relative of yours. They can be, but it’s often not taken well by the scholarship programs.
The best thing would be to contact someone from your school. You can get two letters of recommendation. One can be strictly academic, and the other can be a letter for your character. The academic LOR has to come from one of the teachers in your school. You should go for the ones you have had most conversations with. Because that way, your LOR can be more authentic.
For your character LOR, you can contact some adults from your school or some organization that you frequent. It can be anyone from your cafeteria lady to the pastor in your church.
2. Get In Touch With The Chosen Adult For Your LOR
It is crucial that you talk to them beforehand. You need to make sure that they agree to write a letter of recommendation for you. When you apply for scholarships, a touching LOR can help you immensely.
Respect their wishes if they don’t agree to write you a LOR. If they agree, decide on a time, and prepare yourself beforehand for the meeting. Tell them why you are applying for a scholarship and why you have chosen this particular scholarship program. Give them all the details so that they can write a LOR that reflects you and the organization.
Follow your meeting with an email. Give your regards to them and send them all the required details.
3. Guide Your Recommender In Understanding Why You Have Applied For Scholarships
You need to provide them with ample information that they would need to make the LOR memorable and remarkable.
You can also go one step further and give them materials that they would need to write a letter of recommendation for you. After all, they are doing you a favor, and a great one at that.
Don’t assume that your chosen recommender would remember everything that you have done in their class. Remind them gently, and tell them why you want that specific project to be highlighted in your LOR. Work together, and guide each other.
4. It Is Crucial To Keep Track Of The Due Date
When you apply for scholarships, it is crucial to keep track of due dates. It is best to remind your chosen recommender to send you the LOR soon. First, drop an email. Avoid multiple emails, as it does not seem polite. If they don’t respond in a day or two, the best thing for you to do is drop into their office on the third day. Respectfully remind them again. Chances are, they will write you a great letter of recommendation because of your patience and politeness.
5. Thank Your Chosen Recommender
After you receive your letter of recommendation, do not hesitate to thank your recommender. Take a moment out of your day and do something nice for them. An excellent idea is to write a handwritten thank-you note. People appreciate such kind acts, and they reflect well on you. And if you receive a positive response from the scholarship programs, always share with your recommenders.
Gestures like this are highly appreciated.
Submit The Applications For Your Scholarships
1. Always Cross-Check Your Application And Double Check On All The Documents
It’s best to compile your entire application one or two days before the due date. After you are done compiling your application, give it a rest. The next morning, read the entire application with fresh eyes. You will be surprised to see tiny mistakes that tired eyes can never see. Check all the spellings and double-check if all the required documents are there.
2. Submit Your Applications To Apply For Scholarships
This is the last process on how to apply for scholarships. Some scholarship programs take in online submissions, while others require you to mail them your hard copy. Check the procedure carefully and submit your application accordingly.
If you are submitting it online, make sure that copy-pasting the forms did not change the format. Make sure to sign all your documents. Cross-check all your emails before clicking send. It’s always good to be sure. Once you are done submitting your application, drop an email to your recommender so that they are updated on what’s happening.
Additional Tip On How To Apply For Scholarships
One thing you should do is apply to multiple scholarship programs. The education world is a highly competitive one. The more scholarships you apply to, the better your chances will be. Just follow the first rule and select appropriate scholarships for you.
If you get a scholarship, then it’s great news for you. The higher the scholarship amount, the lesser student debt you will have. The financial relief will be huge.
But if you don’t get through, don’t worry. Scholarships are not the only way to get a higher education. You can also look for loans and grants.
And, this is the answer to how to apply for scholarships. Follow all the steps, and you will surely find positive results.