Tips for Finding Scholarships
If you are interested in applying for scholarships ask around your department and college. Often academic advisors and faculty members will be aware of scholarships available to students in a variety of fields.
Consider Your Place of Employment
Often companies offer scholarships or tuition assistance for employees or interns interested in further their educations. Don’t have a job? Consider checking with the Human Resources department of your parents’ employers. Large corporations often have scholarship opportunities for dependents of their employees.
Visit Your Institution's Financial Aid Office
The Financial Aid office on campus is often the hub of information and guidance to potential scholarships. Pick up information and make an appointment to speak with a financial aid counselor. She or He will be able to provide information about potential scholarship requirements, as well as ensuring all of your paperwork to qualify for financial aid was completed correctly.
Often scholarship announcements are posted on bulletin boards around campus. Next time you pass by the bulletin board in the Student Union, slow down and look for potential postings of scholarships to be awarded by student organizations o academic departments on campus. Also, check the website of your college or major. They may have posted scholarships that are applicable to their student populations, which includes you!
Consider Your Extracurricular Activities
Check with the national offices of your extracurricular organizations to see if they offer scholarships for students or other opportunities such as funding for conference attendance or summer institutes. Often Greek Letter organizations have scholarships based both on merit and need available to their members. Also, consider consulting with your organization’s faculty advisor to find out about more scholarship opportunities.
Tips for Completing Scholarship Applications
Carefully read the application
Read the application thoroughly to make sure you meet eligibility requirements. In addition make sure that you understand everything that must be submitted in order for the application to be complete.
Allow yourself enough time
Allow yourself enough time to complete the application in a professional manner. If the application requires letters of recommendation, make sure you allow your letter writers ample time to write you a quality letter.
Give good examples
If the application requires an essay, give supporting examples. The application committee wants to see that you truly meet the criteria; they are very much less interested in abstract statements. If necessary, have others proofread your essay and help you come up with concrete demonstrations that you are qualified.
Make copies of the application so that you can have working drafts. Type the application if possible. If you must print, make sure that your handwriting is legible.
Look over your materials before you submit them. Are they legible? Are your responses free of grammatical and spelling errors? It bears repeating: Spell Check, Spell Check, Spell Check.
Make a list
Lists can help you keep organized. Consider making a checklist of all the application materials necessary, so that nothing is left out. Keep a list of your accomplishments on file and update it regularly. This will assist you in writing essays and will often be requested by individuals who are composing letters of recommendation.
Watch those deadlines
Watch the deadline of your scholarship application. If you are working on multiple applications consider jotting down the dates on a calendar or putting them in your planner so you can easily refer to them.
Before you submit your application it is a good idea to make copies for your records, should you ever need to refer to them. Keep a folder of all submitted applications. This will also assist you if you need to track an applications progress.
Make sure all materials are submitted in a timely fashion. If possible, do not wait until the last minute. If faxing the application, make sure you jot down the time and date the materials were faxed or print an activity report. If e-mailing, make sure that you have the correct e-mail address and check your inbox for delivery failure notices.
Take pride in your application
Remember that the application committee may never meet you in person. The application materials you submit are a reflection of you! Take pride in them and give it your all; it may pay off!