Applying for and Getting Scholarships for Graduate School
Scholarship Success Step One. Find out where the sources of scholarships are. Some examples are scholarships given by the government, including federal or state governments. Another source would be from the actual school itself. Sometimes, there are bursaries available, which are based more on financial need than on merit. If you have any questions at all about the scholarship, do not hesitate to contact the person managing the scholarship. Try to also gage if the scholarship is coming from a reliable source because it is possible that there are scam scholarships out there, so beware. Just remember don't give scholarships any financial information such as your bank account information or credit card number.
Scholarship Success Step Two. Determine which scholarships you are eligible to apply for by carefully reading their eligibility requirements, and keep track of their websites or save their forms so that you can fill them out later. The sooner you do this the better because different scholarships have different deadlines, so you will need to prepare your file, such as reference letters or transcripts, accordingly. So remember also to take a note of the deadline so that you start preparing for it a month or two before it is due. Choose to apply to as many scholarships that you think you will have a good chance of getting and perhaps don't apply to ones where you will have a slim chance. If the information is available, try to determine the number of people who applied in the last competition versus the number of people who got the scholarship.
Scholarship Success Step Three. Read the instructions carefully before filling out the form. Be as complete and thorough as possible when filling it out. Check spelling and grammatical errors. If a friend or relative has time, ask them to double check the application for you. Remember to include extra materials such as reference letters or transcripts as required. Also don't wait until the last day to submit it. If submitting online, it is best to do it at least one day before in case there is too much of a demand for their servers on the day of the deadline.
Scholarship Success Step Four. Do the extra activities required for each scholarship. Some scholarships school marks, some stress leadership, others stress community service, and still others emphasize athletic performance, so do emphasize your strong points in the area that they are looking for. That's another advantage of looking up the eligibility requirements of scholarships earlier because you will have a feeling as to what types of scholars they would like to support. Even though marks may not be an important factor in the scholarship, it always helps to keep your school marks high in case they do become a factor.
Scholarship Success Step Five. Distinguish yourself from others who may be applying to the same scholarship. For example, scholarships often are additive, so if you have gotten a scholarship before and there is room where you can write it down on the application, you should do so because it indicates your track record of making distinguished contributions. Try to remember that quality is often more valued than quantity when giving out scholarships, so strive for high marks and make worthy, important contributions to society, and your scholarship days may be abundant and plentiful for years to come.
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