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Tips for Applying for Scholarships

Most scholarships are awarded solely on the application submitted, without the opportunity of a personal interview. It is imperative to present a professional, positive and precise application, and to apply only if you are eligible. The following suggestions are offered to assist you with the application process:

Format:

Your application should appear neat and professional. Type your application or print legibly using dark ink. Do not leave any responses blank and submit all requested items. Missing information can deem your application ineligible.


Recommendation Letters:

Recommendation letters are an important part of your application. Consider the specifics of the scholarship when selecting a reference. Select someone who knows you well enough to write a complimentary letter and can attest to your character, commitment, academic achievements, and/or experiences. Choose an individual who can address how you fit the scholarship criteria or someone who may be acquainted with the sponsoring organization and its mission or interests. Good examples of people to ask for letters of recommendation include professors, instructors, employers, and community, religious, or organization leaders.


Personal Statements:

When asked to write a personal statement, provide a thorough and well-thought-out response. Since personal interviews are usually not granted, your statement is an excellent opportunity to present yourself as a worthy recipient to a scholarship committee. Present a well-rounded sense of your personality. Highlight any special attributes, accomplishments or experiences that distinguish you from others and demonstrate how you meet the stated requirements of the scholarship. Be sure to cover all requested topics in your personal statement and remember to carefully proofread.


Financial Need:

Be specific when asked to complete a statement of financial need. Explain how the scholarship will assist you with your educational expenses. If applicable, discuss any unusual personal or family circumstances or anticipated expenses. Many scholarships will use the results of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as a standard determination of financial need.


Questions:

It is important to understand all scholarship requirements and to complete the application correctly. Contact the scholarship sponsor and ask questions if you need clarification.


Deadlines:

Submit your application prior to the published deadline date whenever possible. It is best not to rely on postmark dates or expect extensions to be granted. Your references must also meet the scholarship deadline, so be sure to provide them with instructions on how their letters should be handled.