10 Tips for Scholarship Applicants

[extracted from www.debtfreescholar.com and http://www.scholarshipnet.info and http://scholarships.curtin.edu.au]

Preparing a well-written scholarship application is often a difficult process. This post includes ten essential tips for perfecting your scholarship application. The tips included here will help you meet the deadlines, please the scholarship sponsor, perfect your essay and more!

1. Apply only if you are eligible
Identify and Meet the sponsor's goals. Read through all the scholarship information watching for details and clues about what the sponsor's formal and informal requirements. Makesure you're eligible before you send in your application.

2. Participate in extracurricular activities
Surprisingly, most scholarship committees do not simply choose the student with the highest grade point average (GPA) or SAT score. Instead, most scholarships are equally interested in a students extracurricular activities. Is he involved in his community? Does he have an after-school job? Did he start his own business? What hobbies does he have? The scholarship coordinators are interested in giving the award to the person they consider the most well-rounded student.

3. Watch the deadline like a hawk!
We will never know how much scholarship money is lost simply because the applicant missed the deadline. When students are applying to many scholarships at once it is easy to confuse the deadlines and send the applications on the wrong date. To avoid this danger, students should keep a calendar either on paper or online. On you calendar, write the name of each scholarship in red on its deadline, and in black one week before the deadline. Try to get scholarship applications in before the black (early) deadline but make sure that you get it in before the red (final) deadline.

4. Proofread your application one more time
How can you increase your chance of winning in under 5 minutes? Most scholarship committees do not even consider scholarship applications that have major blunders. Did you get your address right? Did you get the scholarship name right? What about the coordinator's name? Once you have verified the information on the application, read through you essay once more. Are their any major spelling errors? What about grammar errors? Is the header of the essay formatted correctly? Simply spending a little more time can vastly increase your chance of winning.

5. Search, Search, SEARCH!
Persistence is the key to getting a scholarship. Finding good scholarships is often a difficult job. You can stop for the day if you get too tired, but keep on looking the next day. Think of it this way: the harder a time you have finding a scholarship; the less competition you will have! So, keep on looking!!!

6. Organize your surroundings and your time
It helps with study time and with scholarships. When your surroundings are organized, is easy to concentrate on your application. On the other hand, when your surroundings are disordered, it is easy to get distracted or loose important papers. Keep organized!

7. Write an Accomplishments Resume and Use concrete examples in essays
Often when writing scholarships, it is difficult to remember some important piece of information. The date that you started work at a certain job. Or what your boss said about your work. Before you start applying for scholarships, write an accomplishment resume. On this resume include all the important information such as dates, a summary of your work, and recommendations. For example, LinkedIn works very well: is easy to organize all the information and gather recommendations.

If the scholarship requires that you write an essay (and most do), don't simply use abstract information ,  use concrete examples. Scholarship sponsors want to hear about you and your experiences, not about some abstract topic.

8.Documentation
The submission of supporting documentation is essential; without it claims cannot be supported and this may result in the information not being considered in the application. Every application will have a list of the documents that you must provide. Please use that checklist and provide certified copies only. Examples of the types of documents often required are:

* Passport
* Birth certificate
* Centrelink statement
* Income statement / payslips or current bank statement for the last month.
* Health Care Card
* Academic Transcript
* Enrolment Advice
* TAFE or other schooling certificates
* High School Completion certificate (showing highest level completed and school name)
* Medical certificate or letter (for either yourself or the family member for whom you are making a claim)

Certified copies
Most scholarships require certified copies of all original documents to keep on records. We advise that you do not send original documents with your application. This applies for any documentation you send in with your application. The only exceptions will be Curtin Enrolment Advice and Curtin Academic Transcripts, which can be printouts from e-student. If documentation is not certified your application will be deemed ineligible. Please see Certified Documentation page for further details.

9. Proof of Citizenship
Many applications will require you to prove your citizenship; to do this please provide a certified copy of one of the following - they are listed in order of preference:
* Passport
* Citizenship Certificate
* Birth Certificate
* Birth Extract (Please note: if you have any name changes since your birth you will need to provide further documentation to confirm the change).

10. Complete the application in full and Keep a back-up file
If a question doesn't apply, note that on the application. Don't justleave a blank. Supply all additional supporting material, such astranscripts, letters of recommendation and essays. Before sending the application, make a copy of the entire packet. If yourapplication goes astray, you'll be able to reproduce it quickly.

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