The students that win the most scholarships may not have more positive qualities than you, but they use the following strategy to get noticed by the scholarship committees:
Get letters of recommendation from teachers, guidance counselors or leaders in your community. Choose these wisely (make copies).
Get a copy of your high school or college transcript (make copies).
Get involved in your community or in school activities or in your church. If your time is limited due to personal circumstances, working to help with family expenses is also an advantage.
Start writing an essay about your goals and what you have done to date to achieve them. Think about what makes you unique.
Get a picture of yourself. A school picture is perfect. Anything smaller than a wallet size head shot will do.
Buy some clear plastic binders.
The goal here is to have numerous packages made up ahead of time, ready to submit to the various scholarship committees. The package will include:
* a clear plastic binder and within the package,
* the scholarship application (you will have to insert this later when you have received each individual application)
* followed by an essay that gets you noticed
* followed by your transcripts (some scholarships do not require this, but if it’s impressive, send it)
* followed by letters of recommendation and then
* place your picture in the front inside cover (on top of the application) in the lower left hand corner (this is not a requirement, but it helps to put a face to the person, for the scholarship committee reviewing your application.)
Begin researching scholarships that match your criteria. Consider using a scholarship search service. Apply for scholarships that do not sell your personal information.
Once you have the scholarships for which you want to apply, keep track of all the deadlines.
Create a chart to keep on top of all dates.
The chart should include:
* Scholarship name and phone number
* Date application must be received by scholarship committee
* Date you requested the application
* Date you received the application
* Date application with above package was mailed
* Date you called the Scholarship Agency to verify they received your application package
As important as being prepared and organized, it is equally important that you have an essay that gets you noticed.
Even if you feel you’re a master of grammar and syntax, your essay should be critiqued by someone who’s experienced in essay writing.
Ask a teacher, guidance counselor or parent to review your essay or consider using an essay editing service.
Get Prepared, Get Organized, Get Noticed, Be Persistent and Don’t Give Up!