When a student is in the process of applying for scholarships for school, it’s very easy to become quickly overwhelmed. There are so many things that have to be submitted and included in the application, not to mention worrying about whether or not you’re applying for enough funding. The information below can help get a handle on the student scholarship application process, and help make it as seamless as possible.
First off, for the most part, you need to look for scholarships. You and your child should go through a list of options and decide which ones are right for you. There are thousands of scholarships available out there, and it can seem overwhelming when trying to figure out how to find the ones that you qualify for. Check with your school guidance counselor’s office, the university that you’re applying to, local churches, professional organizations, etc. You also need to use online resources if you want to make sure that you’re applying for everything available to you. One amazing – and free – resource is www.scholarships.com. This site has done all of the legwork for you so all you need to do is register with the site and they’ll walk you through all of the steps necessary to find the scholarships that best fit your criteria.
Once you have a list of possibles, sit down and make a prioritized list based on how much money the awards give, when the deadlines are, and the application process. You need to approach this process by setting up a serious schedule that will list out when you’ll apply for each scholarship and how much time you’ll devote to each application. You could decide to do one application per weekday, or devote the weekend to filling out several applications. These applications will determine how much money you’ll receive for the school year and may make the difference between being able to choose one school over another, so take it seriously.
Prepare all of the materials that you’ll need for each application. The supporting materials that you’ll need to provide will most likely include a teacher recommendation, recommendation from a job supervisor or volunteer coordinator, transcripts, photos, personal essay, financial aid forms and a cover letter. Get your recommendation letters as soon as you can. Your teachers will be inundated with recommendation letter requests, so you should reach out to them as early in the process as possible so that you don’t miss any submission deadlines. The worst thing in the world would be to miss an application deadline because you didn’t get your recommendation letters in time. The essay is incredibly key, and you want to make it the best essay you’ve written in your entire life. Yes, it’s that serious. Start the essay writing process as early as possible, and have it checked over by your advisors and trusted teacher. You want to make this essay as strong as possible, and having someone edit it can make all the difference between a good essay and a great one.
You will most likely be able to use the same essay over and over, but make sure that you if you do, you check each application’s essay instructions to make sure that the essay that you’ve written fits their criteria.
Prior to mailing off your application, make sure that you’ve included everything that you’ve been asked for. Many organizations won’t even look at an application if it doesn’t include all required materials. Have someone else do a double check with you as well.