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Scholarship Resources: Tips Worth Noting!

Pointers to various scholarship sites and suggestions for application materials.

Tips for Applications

1. Start Early! Do not wait to the last minute as some funds are distributed first come first serve until they are gone.

2. Read over the eligibility requirements.

3. Plan ahead - ask now for recommendations and any financial statements.

3.Complete the Application neatly and in the proper format (written, electronic).

4. Answer ALL QUESTIONS! (even the optional ones.)

5. Provide any and all of the additional materials requested.

Tips for Finding Scholarships

1. Think about the type of scholarship that will best suit you - focus on what makes you unique!

  • Merit-based scholarships - academic or athletic achievements
  • Student- specific scholarships - first generation student, female, ethnic minority, specific major
  • Creative scholarships - are you artistically inclined?

2. Consider local scholarships -  Often local scholarships are less competitive and you may have a greater chance of success. Winning smaller awards adds to your resume and can help you win bigger awards. A few places to consider include:

  • Local Community Based Organizations - look for a Community Foundation in your area, or try a Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, etc.
  • Your place of Worship
  • Local businesses/ parent employer /your employer

3. Use Scholarship websites/search engines - NEVER pay to get a scholarship. Be aware of anything promising guaranteed money.

Finally, stay organized. Use a calendar and checklist while prioritizing your applications by deadline and expected value of the scholarship.

Tips for Essays

Note that not all scholarships require essays, but those that do require often have fewer applicants.

1. Tailor your essay for the audience.

2. Grab the attention of the committee.

3. Avoid negative messages.

4. Use an outline to organize your thoughts.

5. Give examples and be specific.

6. Be passionate and write about something of interest to you.

7. If you have trouble writing, answer the essay question orally and transcribe the recording.

8. Proofread out loud a printed copy of the essay (or ask a friend/instructor).


Tips for Avoiding Scams

Scholarship Scams: Things to Look-Out For

  • A large processing fee and a small reward
  • Scholarship  databases that charge you to register
  • An announcement that you have won and award for which you have not applied
  • Companies claiming to do all the work for you

Ultimate Guide to Avoiding Popular Scholarship Scams

  • Lack of Professional Appearance
  • Unsolicited Offers 
  • Advance Payments
  • "We Apply For You" Scholarships
  • Guaranteed Scholarship Search Service

How to Avoid Scholarship Scams



Info from the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  published this document on avoiding financial aid scams.