With the holiday season coming to an end, it is now time to start thinking about applying for scholarships for the upcoming school year. Many of the major scholarship programs are open and now taking applications for the 2018-2019 school year. Now is the time to start filling out scholarship applications before many of them close in the spring, such as the OSAC.
In this blog post we be discussing tips to fill out scholarship applications and how to make your scholarship essays stand out.
1. Read through the applications' instructions carefully:
Scholarship applications have a lot of really important information that may get overlooked, such as deadlines and the way a certain section needs to be filled out. Sometimes the instructions even give background information on the scholarship, which can be used to help form your essays.
2. Read the essay prompt carefully and make sure you understand what it is asking:
You need to have a clear understanding of what the prompt is asking before you can even start writing. A lot of times you have to "read between the lines" to find what the prompt is really asking for. It is also a good idea to ask someone to look over the prompt and get their opinion on the prompt.
3. Know your audience:
Know who you are writing this essay for. Ask yourself: What does this organization value? What are they looking for in a scholarship candidate? What type of organization is the scholarship from?
4. Organize your thoughts:
Outlines go a long way in helping with organizing your thoughts. Writing an up outline before starting your essay question will help keep your thoughts and ideas on track, as well as keeping your essay concise and easy to follow.
5. Make it personal:
Scholarship providers want to know whose schooling they are helping to fund. In your essays don't just mention your school accomplishments or your volunteer experience; tell them about the steps you took to achieve your accomplishments. Tell them how your volunteer experience changed you or how it made you feel. Making your essays more personal will help you stand out more and make you more memorable.
6. Spell check, spell check, spell check:
Always spell check your essays, and when you're done spell checking the first time do it again. It is important to spell check an essay multiple times because you may have missed some errors the first couple of times. You want to give the scholarship providers the best impression of you, and there is nothing worse than sending them an essay with a bunch of spelling or grammar errors.