Start Your Research Early

The more time you can put into your scholarship search, the more options you’ll have. You’ll need time to research scholarships, request information and application materials, and complete your application.

Read and Review Eligibility Requirements Carefully

If you have a question about your eligibility for a particular scholarship, contact the scholarship sponsors.

Complete All Parts of Each Scholarship Application

Contact scholarship sponsors if you are not sure about how to complete any part of the application. Avoid going over the length limit for the essay, and resist the temptation to send supporting materials that are not requested in the application.

Submit the Necessary Materials

Many scholarships require you to provide them with some combination of the following:

  • Transcript
  • Standardized test scores
  • Financial aid forms, such as the FAFSA or CSS Profile Form
  • Parents’ financial information, including tax returns
  • One or more essays
  • One or more letters of recommendation
  • Proof of eligibility (e.g. membership credentials)
  • You may also need to prepare for a personal interview. For students competing for talent-based scholarships, an audition, performance, or portfolio may be required.

Double-Check Your Application

If you’re reusing material (such as a cover letter or essay) from another scholarship application, be especially careful you haven’t left in any incorrect names or blank fields. Don’t forget to sign and date your application.

Proofread Your Scholarship Materials

Use your computer’s spell and grammar check features. Have a parent, teacher, or friend read your essays.

Make Copies of Everything You Send

If application materials are lost, having copies on hand will make it much easier to resend your application quickly.

Make Sure To Meet the Deadlines

Create a separate file for each scholarship and make sure to submit your application by the deadline date. You’ll miss out if you miss deadlines. Consider using certified mail or return receipt.