With the rising cost of almost everything today, educational funding is not as easy as it used to be. As such, so many people are now opting for scholarships to help ease the pressure of having to pay the exorbitant tuition fees. Regardless of the fact that the number of scholarships available today are numerous, they are not nearly close to the world population. There are over 7 billion people in the world, with 1.8 billion between the ages 10 – 24. Basically, the scholarships we have can barely cater for few millions. So, as you can tell, the competition is extremely tight.
In order to get shortlisted for any scholarship, you need to have performed exceptionally well – at least better than other applicants. Well, yes there are lots of scholarships directed at different groups of people. However, even if the scholarship is based on need, there are certain distinguishing criteria that would make one person get selected over the other. In order to almost guarantee success of your scholarship applications, there are certain guiding processes that you have to follow. Here are just a few tips for you to have successful scholarship applications.
Follow the rules carefully
No matter how great your scholarship entry is, once there is a breach in any rule or guideline, you can get an automatic end to the entire process. Hence why this is the first tip for successful scholarship applications. When applying for scholarships, you would see the eligibility criteria and guidelines to follow. Needless to say, while applying for a scholarship you are not completely eligible for, you would have successfully wasted a whole lot of your time. For example, if the scholarship is open to only citizens of the United States and you are a citizen of another country, there is really no point praying for luck.
Next, there are usually a few rules that are put in place to guide all applicants. Rules on submission, rules on essay entries, rules on deadlines, and so on. So if you submit one day late, you may have completely flung out your entire chances of moving to the next stage of the scholarship or even winning.
Merge your goals of those of the scholarship providers
Usually, scholarship applications are usually tailored to a certain group of people and as such have an end goal in mind. An example of such is when a scholarship provider has an end goal of offering an array of young leaders’ quality education or creating a platform for all mathematically inclined high school students, and so on. The goals or mission of the scholarships are usually clearly specified in the application or on their official websites at least.
In order to ensure that your scholarship applications get the much needed notice you require to be successful, you need to merge your goals or activities with theirs. In order words, if the scholarship is related to young leaders, you need to show how many leadership roles you have taken whether in school or in your community. If you are such a great writer and the scholarship is for leaders, heightening your writing skills would not score you any points; not unless you somehow led people through it. Do this and you would be one step closer to your scholarship break.
Write a killer Essay
This is where too many people fall out. There are just a few scholarships that do not come with essays –most do. The essay gives the organizers a chance to know you better and have an idea of what you are capable of. Certain people are not great writers, but there are some instances where writing cannot be avoided. This is one of them.
There are many ways to write a killer essay. First, be as personal as you can be as it would earn you points or maybe sympathy if it is a need-based scholarship. Avoid highly complex words and lengthy sentences. Be concise, do not sound vague, and avoid cliché phrases. Make sure you have somebody proofread and correct you if necessary. A different opinion would not hurt at all. Make all your scholarship applications rank high by writing a wonderful essay.
Get great recommendations
Before submitting any of your scholarship applications, you would need to get references or recommendations from a number of people. These people are usually those that know you well – at least better than the scholarship organizers. While looking for the kind of people that would write a good recommendation, you need to first go for those who are reputable and respectable.
The librarian may know you well and love to write great things about you and your wonderful reading habit, but his word may not be taken as seriously as something that comes from your head of department, counsellor, or top lecturer. Next, you need to find a person who knows you personally. Not just because they can write nice things about you, but because they would be able to add that personal spice to it that would make your application stand out.
Get good scores
Funny how this is coming in last right? Well, this is because a good number of scholarships actually just need your official school transcript and result. However, many colleges would usually require you to write some aptitude exams. It could be GMAT, GRE, and if you are an international student, you may need to write an English based exam that tests writing and speaking. For any of your scholarship applications to get noticed, your scores have to stand out.
If you are still in school, this comes first on the tips for successful scholarship applications. This is so because you still have a shot at bagging good grades. Since most scholarship organizers and colleges want the best, you need to stand out. The best way to stand out is to have good grades in your stash. So work on your grades, prepare well for all the exams and tests that are directly related to the success of your scholarship applications and you would have solved the ultimate challenge.