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Numerous scholarships offered by educational institutes during the academic year, make education accessible and open up a world of opportunities for deserving students. However, meticulous planning and a smart approach are required to identify and avail these scholarships in a timely and well-organized manner.
Students who want to find and win the best-suited scholarships must contemplate these seven well-researched tips:
- The Earlier the Better
When it comes to identifying your best-fit scholarship, it is good to start as early as possible. Surprisingly, numerous high schools offer scholarships, and aspirants can find a scholarship opportunity as early as middle school. Hence, while applying for scholarships, the earlier you start the greater the chances are of your success.
Pro Tip: Most scholarship programs have deadlines in early January, February, or Fall, so apply accordingly.
- Enlist Your Criteria and Be Organized
Before applying for scholarships, it is a good practice to evaluate your interests, strengths, weaknesses, and unique qualities. Enlist your interests and criteria, as it will make it easier to narrow down your best fit scholarship.
Pro Tip: While recruiting college students, many scholarship administrations consider the following aspects. Therefore, make a checklist of all prerequisites to avoid any mishap.
- Preferred major
- Extracurricular activities and hobbies
- Community Work [if any]
- Achievements or recognitions [if any]
- Publications [if any]
- Performing or visual art experience [if any]
- Applicant’s racial or ethnic heritage
- Details of academic institutions
- A well-written and well-structured unique essay
These are just the bare minimum scholarship application prerequisites. Several other aspects need to be kept in mind while applying.
- Focus on Grades, CGPA, or Percentages
Academics are the most significant in making scholarship decisions. Aspiring students who have low GRE or GMAT scores, but have good GPA or grades, still have a decent chance to earn a scholarship. Most schools, colleges, and universities that offer international student scholarships take into consideration the undergraduate GPA and CGPA.
Pro Tip: Don’t worry if you have a low GPA in one semester. You can improve your GPA across every year/semester. Aspirants can apply based on their cumulative GPA (CGPA) across all the degree years.
- Ask for Letters of Recommendation Early
Most higher education institutes that offer scholarships require letters of recommendation, so to avoid any delays in the application process, ask for it from the concerned authorities. Never ask any family member or acquaintance to write letters of recommendation as the scholarship committee strictly rejects such applications.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind letters of recommendation are a kind of favor. And it will be a good practice to provide teachers, counselors, or concerned authorities enough time and information to write it.
- Write Persuasive Essays
When it comes to applying for scholarships, keep in mind that there will be a lot of paperwork and writing. Read the essay prompts and questions twice to get a better understanding. Then write a thoughtful, unique, and specific answer/essay.
Pro Tip: Read the scholarship essay prompt carefully. Take enough time to understand the question, then answer accordingly. Stick to the ‘To the Point’ policy, and don’t brag about anything.
- Flaunt Your Achievements, Recognition, and Publications
Many educational institutions prioritize applications with accomplishments, recognitions, or publications so if you have any achievements, flaunt them in your scholarship application. It will enhance your chances of winning scholarships.
Pro Tip: It’s a digital age, and any coding certification or programming experience can make your scholarship application stand out from the crowd. Students can get quick certification with just an hour of code. You can also add all other achievements or recognitions such as speech competition certificates, school/college paper publications, or certificates of sports competition. To make your application more credible, always provide proof of evidence in the document format.
- Proofread Twice!
Before submitting your scholarship application, make sure to proofread it twice for perfect grammar, spelling, and tone. Also, ensure that you have answered all essay prompts and questions correctly.
Pro Tip: The competition for scholarships is fierce, and a careless application can certainly reduce your chances of securing the scholarship. So, proofread twice and do needed edits. Pay heed to small things. Make your online presence polite, respectable, and mature as many scholarship administrators check applicants’ social accounts for verification.
In short, pour efforts into minor details to make your application worthy enough to win the scholarship.