- Do not wait until the last minute to apply – it shows!
- Submit applications on time. Most organizations do not accept late paperwork
- Read basic eligibility criteria carefully. Avoid completing lengthy applications if not qualified
- Complete applications thoroughly. Use the phrase “does not apply” to answer questions you might leave blank- NEVER SUBMIT AN INCOMPLETE APPLICATION
- Ask in advance for Letters of Recommendation. Instructors and employers appreciate your consideration of their time and are more willing to write letters for students who plan ahead.
- Ask for more than two Letters of Recommendation. This will give YOU the option to select the strongest ones to submit.
- PROOF READ! Poor spelling, grammar, punctuation, and short essay answers reflect a student who doesn’t care. Do you think someone would want to give money to a student who doesn’t care?
- Apply to SPECIFIC Scholarships and increase your chances of receiving a scholarship.
- Start with brainstorming ideas; don’t worry about being perfect on the first draft. Many students find it easier to start with the middle sections, and then do the first paragraph last.
- Be prepared for multiple drafts. In the beginning, don’t focus on grammar or punctuation, just get the ideas down
- Don’t stall on the perfect first sentence, many writers find it easier to write the introduction as the last step in your draft
- Let your essay say something unique about you! We are all unique, so let that come through in your essay
- Once your essay has been redrafted, proofed, and drafted again- save it. Many scholarships ask very similar questions. No need to do the work over again
- DO respect the space limit-show that you can get your point across in a clear and succinct manner. If the directions ask for a 1-2 page essay- do not submit more than 2 pages.
- Proof read and also have others read your essay- they may see things you don’t. The Writing Center is a great resource (see sidebar for resources).
- If you have “hiccups” on your transcripts, take this chance to explain those. This may be the opportunity to explain a difficult time in your life and how you handled those challenges.