Scholarship Applications that Win!

This article is mainly taken from the following website. Some modifications are made to adjust with the local condition.

Tip #1 ATTENTION TO DEADLINES

  • Have your application arrive EARLY as possible, absolutely not after the deadline date!
  • This behavior also conveys a positive characteristic about you.

Tip #2 START YOUR APPLICATION WITH A (“THANK YOU”) COVER LETTER

  • Explain what documents that you send, and how to classify them (perhaps you numbered the documents, or how you list the documents in the application).
  • Explain a bit about your interest and passion. Don’t sell your self here! You sell your self in your application, not in cover letter.
  • Make it short (one-page) and not too crowded (don’t use small fonts and less line space).

Sample Packet Cover Letter

1111 WinOne Street
Pensacola, Fl 32503
9 September 1999

Mary Smith, President
Whatever Scholarship Committee
Orlando Central Parkway
Orlando, Florida (zip code)

Dear Ms. Smith,

This letter is an introduction of myself, (your name), and my desire to participate in the (whatever it is called) Scholarship Program. I have been accepted to (Name of your College) for the 1999 fall term.

I would like to thank you and the (whatever) Scholarship Committee for supporting college bound students with an opportunity for financial assistance through your scholarship program. Enclosed you will find my application form, high school transcript, ACT results, letters of recommendation, and other pertinent information. Again, thank you for your interest on my behalf and for the youth of our state.

Respectfully,

(your name)

Tip #3 ANSWER THE “MAIL”

  • Construct your application to make it EASY for the committee to see that you have provided every thing that was required
  • If possible, provide items in the order that they are listed in the application.
  • If possible, do not mix items on the same page.
  • Add extra items that were not requested to give your application that something extra. However, DO NOT add extra items if you are specifically told not to add anything extra. Just follow the given directions.

Tip #4 ADD EXTRA ITEMS TO YOUR APPLICATION (if not forbidden)

This is where you get to be creative to find ways and things that present you in a positive light to the selection committee. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Write a short essay on MY EDUCATION/CAREER GOALS. Try to keep to one page but no more than two.
  2. Write a paragraph or two on how this scholarship award will help you reach your education/career goals.
  3. Certificate of achievements/awards to show that your performance and hard work was recognizable.

Be creative to find things that make you look good and share them with the committee.

Tip #5 PERSONALIZE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

  • When you have a letter of recommendation addressed to the specific organization or person that is administering the application process, it’s the best since the letter is “Special” for them.
  • If all you have is a letter that starts “To Whom It May Concern”, it is still better than nothing. But if you can personalize the letter it says you cared to send the very best.

TIP #6 – PROOF READ ALL MATERIALS and NEATNESS IS A MUST

  • Use correct grammar and spelling.
  • Ask someone with ample English skill to help you with proofreading your essay, cover letter, extra items you have included, and even letters of recommendation prepared by others.
  • When there are hundreds/thousands of applications to review, correctness and neatness become the first screen out factor.

TIP # 7 – SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION IN A CLEAR PLASTIC FOLDER

  • Not only the content of your application that you need to care of, but also its presentation.
  • Group a multiple-page document with stapler or paper clips.
  • Place all of your items in a clear plastic folder, with a slide locking binder (it also protects the document from water).
  • Your application packet is a great looking presentation of YOU, don’t mess it up by folding it to fit a small envelope. Use a big enough  envelope so that your application arrives looking great.