Scholarships are frustrating to apply for because of all the details you have to keep track of, especially when deadlines are looming. Luckily, there are ways around this stress. Scholarships help you lower your student loan debt, so they are well worth the time and energy that goes into applying for them. This article discusses tips for finding and applying to scholarships such as the Nancy Etz scholarship.
#1 Know the deadlines for each scholarship you are applying to
Most scholarships worth applying for will have information about the application deadlines on their website. If you leave finding this information until the last minute, it can be stressful to track down everything, so do your research well in advance of when you need to apply for each scholarship. Ideally, you’ll have a scholarship organization system in place, such as keeping scholarship information on a Trello board with deadlines and reminders enabled.
#2 Do your research and find scholarships that match your skills, values, and interests
When looking for scholarships, keep an eye out for ones that ask applicants things like “what is one thing our society can do to make the world a better place?” or “describe how your family has positively influenced who you are today.” These questions will give you insight into what type of person they are looking for and if they share your values.
The same goes for skills-based scholarships. Many scholarships ask about your hobbies and interests, but it can be hard to know which ones to apply to if you’re unsure what they’re looking for. In this case, look for scholarships that require an essay or video submission.
This will give you a chance to show off your skills and creativity. If you have no idea where to start, try using a scholarship search engine such as Scholly or Unigo to find relevant scholarships for you. Once you’ve found some scholarships, bookmark them or add them to a Trello board, so you don’t lose track of them.
#3 Fill out the application in detail, so it is easy to read
The scholarship committee will probably only spend a few minutes reading your application, so make sure everything is easy to find and understand. This means using headings and subheadings to break up the application’s different sections and make sure your font is big enough that they don’t have to squint. Also, make use of a spell-checker and proofread everything before submitting! It’s also helpful to ask a friend or family member to read it over for you.
#4 Use a spell-checker
See tip number 3! Seriously though, many people make spelling mistakes, which can be easily avoided by using a spell-checker. Scholarship judges will likely ding your application if there are too many mistakes.
#5 Proofread everything before submitting!
See tips numbers 3 and 4! Seriously, proofreading is important because it’s the best way to make sure your application looks polished and professional. It also makes you look like you care about the scholarship and that you’re not just throwing together an application at the last minute.
One way to proofread is to read your essay aloud to see if it sounds natural. Another way is to print out your application and read it backward, starting with your signature. This helps you catch any typos you may have missed when reading it normally.
#6 Follow up with an email or phone call if you haven’t heard anything about your application after a few weeks
If you haven’t heard back after a few weeks, schedule an email or phone call to check in with the scholarship committee. This shows that you’re still interested in the scholarship, and it may give them enough motivation to review your application early.
If you are pursuing a degree in any field of study, chances are there is an abundance of scholarships available to help cover your costs. The best way to find these resources is by doing some preliminary research on the types of questions that scholarship committees like to ask and then finding scholarships that match these criteria.
Once you have a few scholarships in mind, make sure to fill out the application in detail and proofread everything before submitting it. Finally, follow up with the scholarship committee if you haven’t heard back after a few weeks. Doing these things will increase your chances of being awarded a scholarship!