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Scholarship Resources: Preparing Scholarship Documents

Pointers to various scholarship sites and suggestions for application materials.

Preparing Scholarship Documents

Scroll to find 5 important tips.

Use a calendar and checklist to get organized - start the preparation process early!

Prioritize your application by deadlines and/or expected value of the schoolarship.

Plan to use your formal name on all documents (e.g. Charles King not Charlie or Chuck King).

Create a specific email address and make it professional e.g. First

Remove any inappropriate and immature material on your social media profiles.

Application Form

Pull together these common application documents before you start to apply. You may wish to have both a paper copy and electronic copy of all items readily available depending on how you will submit your application. File names on electronic documents should be clearly identifiable e.g. C.King_Resume.pdf vs. w002554653.html?piid.pdf

1. The application form itself

2. A copy of your passport or national identification card

3.Copies of transcripts or diplomas 

4. Recommendation Letter(s)

5. Resume/CV - this might be as simple as identifying your accomplishments/awards/work experience. You may want to have an opening statement under your name that is tailored to the application requirements and then put specific items either chronologically or by relevance to the application.

6. Standardized test scores/academic transcript


  • Consider creating an accomplishment/experience resume before you apply - This can help you identify unique characteristics which help focus on the types of scholarships for which you are most qualified.
  • Be specific in your accomplishments and experiences - tell "the committee," who will be reviewing your application something concrete. See examples below:
    • Math Achievement Award. Presented to two outstanding students each year. vs. Math Achievement Award.
    • Volunteer Nature Museum and Trailside. Guided youth groups through  museum and nature walk with station stops to explain habitats, ecosystems, and current  environmental concerns. vs. Nature Volunteer.

Letter(s) of Recommendation

Consider who might write you a recommendation letter if needed.  Keep the following in mind:

1. Ask early - even if you give a heads up e.g. " I will be applying for college scholarships and if needed would you be willing to write a recommendation for me?"

2. Prepare the person writing the recommendation -

  • provide a list of your accomplishments/resume/CV;
  • forward information about the scholarship including any special characteristics or guidelines;
  • identify required deadlines.

3. Thank your writer!  A written personal thank you is much appreciated.  Remember, writing a recommendation letter can take a fair amount of time and often makes a big difference in your chance to receive an award. Be sure to thank your recommendation writer for their efforts.