How to Apply for a Scholarship? A very relevant question considering the fact that there are lot of scholarships offered by various trusts and private sponsors, and there are a burgeoning number of students applying for each one. Well, ‘how to apply for a scholarship’ is a process that is a sum total of advance planning, research, and projection of one’s academic and extra curricular skills in front of the judging committee in the most effective way. And this needs to be started at least a year ahead before the date on which you ultimately want it to materialize.
Ideally, everyone should start the scholarship search by applying for a government aid called FAFSA. One could collect its application from the college, university or from the concerned home page. Applying online is better as the process is fast and reliable. Once they announce the date for distribution and collection applications, it is advisable to submit the completed application at the earliest since the applications are processed and scholarships are awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Regarding private scholarships, as there are lots of sponsors in the game, it would be prudent to study the various scholarships, their merits and genuinity, and scholarship amounts, before eventually zeroing in on a particular offer. The lists of private organizations offering scholarships can be obtained either from your nearest library or similar online resources. Again, searching online is better as it saves time and the person can learn more about other requirements and criteria each organization stipulates for every applicant. Once decided with the sponsor, write to them requesting an application form or download one from their home site if such a possibility exists. Make sure that you send your request well before the deadline.
Fill out the application legibly and without any errors or grammar mistakes. Most scholarship application submissions may require all or some of these documents – transcript, standardized test scores, financial aid forms (FAFSA or PROFILE), parent’s financial information, including tax returns, one or more essays, one or more letters of recommendation, and any proof of eligibility – to be included alongside the hand written application. While writing the essays, ensure that it contains all positive points substantiating your claim for the scholarship. Even though the many books available in the market talks in length about essay writing tips, it is advisable that the candidate must follow a style that comes naturally to him/her, but without any compromising on the quality.
Before sending the application, take Photostat copies of each document and file it for future reference, if any use arises later. Keep in mind that one may or may not receive a grant for each application he/she sends. The point here is not to lose heart if a rejection comes, and instead learn to take it in its stride. Scholarships are there in plenty. And it is only a matter of time before you get one.