There are thousands of scholarships available, and while they can be difficult to get, those who are willing to invest the time and energy often find that their efforts pay off.
TOP TEN TIPS FOR WINNING SCHOLARSHIPS
1. Read Directions. Read directions carefully before you start filling out your application.
2. Complete the application in full. If a question does not apply, note that on the application by marking (N/A) in the blank. Do not just leave it blank. Be sure to supply all additional documents, such as transcripts, letter of recommendations and essays.
3. Follow Directions. Provide everything that is required. But do not supply things that are not requested - you could be disqualified.
4. Neatness Counts. Always type your application, or if you must print, do so neatly and legibly. Make a couple copies of all the forms before you start to fill them out. Use the copies as working drafts as you develop your application packet.
5. Use your scholarship personal statement template. The key to writing a strong essay is to be personal and specific. Include concrete details to make your experience come alive: the 'who', 'what', 'when', and 'where' of your topic. The simplest experience can be monumental if you present how you were affected.
6. Watch all Deadlines. To help keep yourself on track, impose your own deadline that is at least two weeks prior to the official deadline. Use the buffer time to make sure everything is ready on time. Do not rely on extensions - very few scholarship providers allow them at all.
7. Make sure your application gets where it needs to go. Put your name (and Social Security number, if applicable) on all pages of the application. Pieces of your application may get lost unless they are clearly identified.
8. Keep a back-up file in case anything goes wrong. Before sending the application, make a copy of the entire packet. If your application goes astray, you will be able to reproduce it quickly.
9. Give a final 'Once-Over'. Proof-read the entire application carefully, be on the lookout for misspelled words or grammatical errors. Ask a friend, teacher or parent to proofread it as well.
10. Ask for help if you need it. If you have a problem with the application, do not hesitate to call the scholarship foundation and ask questions.