Tips for submitting your college scholarship application

So, you’re thinking about applying for a scholarship? Before you get started, keep these tips in mind.

April 9, 2021

So, you’re thinking about applying for a scholarship? Before you get started, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Write and submit your own application. Moms, Dads, Aunties, or friends should not be writing it for you or even organizing the process for you. The scholarship committee wants to hear you voice and to see your initiative. Submittals and any communication should come from your email address, not from someone helping you. 
  2. Do get someone to proofread for you. It is recommended to draft answers to all the scholarship questions before entering them into the system application. Double check spelling and grammar, and this is where that helpful family member or friend could contribute. Applicants sometimes are sometimes turned down because of spelling errors. Multiple spelling errors send a message that you didn’t care enough about the scholarship to pay attention to simple details. 
  3. Answer every question fully. This seems obvious but some applicants are rejected for incomplete applications. Write NA if the answer to a question is not applicable to you. Also make sure to submit all requested documents and make sure your full name is on each piece. If you cannot submit something, for example a tax return that was not filed yet, then make sure to provide an explanation document and detail when or if that will be available in the future.
  4. In essay questions, look for ways to express knowledge of the topic but highlight your own accomplishments and unique character traits, especially those you were not able to fit into other parts of the application. If there is room, show your knowledge of or relationship to the scholarship granting institution. Look for ways to incorporate special details or stories that will be memorable to the reader and make your application stick out to the committee.
  5. When possible, plan to submit at least a week before the deadline, so if there are any missing pieces or other issues, there is still time to solve them.
  6. Follow up on the application with an email or call to make sure everything required was received. You’ll ensure your application will be considered, and the extra effort shows that you care about the scholarship. Again, this follow-up should be done directly by the applicant, and no one else. 
  7. Curate your social media. Make sure every photo and post you have on your social media portrays the character and values you are conveying your application. The scholarship committee will likely search and review your social media.
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