Applying for a scholarship can be a daunting task, particularly given that what’s at stake is financial support. Of course competition is often high and there will be a vast array of applicants, but this is no reason to feel disheartened. Follow the five tips below to make your scholarship stand out and give you a better chance of success.
1. Are you qualified?
Though this may sound like a fairly obvious point, it is important to bear in mind in order to avoid disappointments. As well as ensuring that you are qualified to apply, it is also worth searching for scholarships that are particularly suited to your place of study, specialty subject or unique hobby or extracurricular activity. This way, you will not only qualify, but will represent the ideal candidate for the scholarship.
2. Follow the instructions
Again, although this may seem like a fairly obvious point, assessors will automatically exclude any candidate who has failed to submit what is required within the time limit available. In order to avoid disappointment, make sure you read the guidelines, advice and instructions provided very carefully and understand precisely what is required and expected of you.
3. Create a game plan
You need to plan how you are going to respond to application forms and the like in advance. Ask trusted friends or relatives for advice as to which personal strengths and achievements you should highlight during the course of your application. These should be clear in your mind before you start the application process.
4. Do not be overly modest
Modesty is a laudable quality, but in order to shine you will have to learn to emphasise your strengths, accomplishments and positive attributes. The important thing to remember is to provide evidence for any claims you make: for example, if you claim to be a useful asset to the community, provide details of when and where you were involved in voluntary community activities. At the same time, try to avoid being arrogant. If an assessor asks you what your weaknesses are, do not claim you have none.
5. Get a second opinion
No matter how many times you have gone over your application, you will probably have missed something. Getting trusted friends, teachers or relatives with suitable skills to read over your applications, essays and any other additional documentation will allow you to correct mistakes and omissions you may have overlooked and that could possibly jeopardise your application.
Applying for scholarships is a competitive process, you can make your application stand out by researching scholarships carefully and following directions to the letter, pre-planning your responses, highlighting your strengths, and making use of trusted friends to get a second opinion. If you happen to have problems with getting accepted in the first scholarships you apply for don’t worry! Don’t lose faith and keep applying. Instead of just applying for scholarships you can try looking for a part-time job. Check your local free-classifieds website for job opportunities in your city and while you keep applying for scholarships in your free time, you can make some money and work experience while you wait.