02 Dec A Guide to Scholarship Applications
Scholarship applications can be extremely complex and confusing. Not only does every different scholarship body want something different, but none of them seem to set the deadline dates for the same week, which no doubt would confuse you even more! When you are applying for college, it can seem like you are going round in an endless circle, trying to finish tasks that you have already started but seemingly getting nowhere. It can be a chore just to finish one application to a college, let alone fill in several for scholarships as well. However, help is at hand and you can make life easier for yourself with these basic tips:
Read every application carefully.
Every scholarship requires something different because no two are the same, so you cannot just fill out one for them all and hope that you will get a measure of success. There will always be something different expected of you, whether there is a word limit on your personal statement or fewer letters of recommendation. If you do not read it and comply with the guidelines, then your application will be discarded straight away.
Prepare in advance.
Before you even begin to research scholarships in depth, you should practice your personal statement. Style is extremely important, so you should write it out the summer before you plan to apply to ensure you get it completely right. If a personal statement reflects you, then it is perfect for your applications. Keep the copy of the draft you wrote and then use that as a foundation on which to build your actual personal statements when it comes to applying for real.
Work with the space you have.
Try not to use continuation sheets on scholarship applications because the likelihood is that representatives or assessors will get bored halfway through. Try to keep all of the information to a minimum but include as many activities as you can in your list. You could even add a few into your personal statement if you run out of space. However, if you do not have enough space then leave out the ones that are not important.
Look at what they want.
You should always look at what the provider of the scholarship is asking for and give them what they want. Never lie on an application form but tailor your own personality traits to your advantage. If they are looking for someone with character, then communicate that in your writing style. If they are looking for integrity, then mention an example of it. Always back up what you have to say by just tailoring what you know about yourself to what they are looking for in you!
Always give your reasons why you want to study a certain subject.
Many individuals fall down at this step because they do not justify their reasons for wanting to take a certain subject. There must be a reason behind your choice but failing to communicate it or failing to put your reasons across in a logical and well-reasoned way can ultimately ensure that you fall at the last hurdle!
Read it through.
Never send an application form for a scholarship without reading it through first. Make sure that you have said everything that you want to say in a clear and concise but logical way so it is easy to read. If it passes your critical eye then it should pass theirs!
We are in the business of helping families through the major life transition of sending their children to college. For many, it will be the most expensive time of their lives and, if not handled properly, could cost them their retirement. If you or someone you know needs the help and guidance of a trained financial professional, don’t hesitate to contact me. Remember, you shouldn’t have to choose between your child’s college and your retirement.