Scholarship judges work through hundreds, even thousands of applications, to determine who makes it to the final stage. So as an applicant, you have to submit an application that will get you noticed. In this post article, you will learn steps and guide to apply for scholarships like a professional.
Before you apply for the next scholarship, be sure to read this educative article to the end.
How to Apply for Scholarships like a Professional
1. Starts early
Let look at this simple scenario. Knowing that his family could not afford his postgraduate education, a boy by name Smith started applying for Masters Scholarships from his 300 level. He believed there were a lot of scholarships out there and he was willing to do whatever it took to get one. He was denied many scholarships, but eventually one came through.
You don’t have to wait until you need a scholarship to start applying. You have to give yourself time to get ready. Starting early would give you enough time to tick off all of the eligibility boxes, so that you can prepare a competitive application when you are ready to apply. So start early.
2. Set Goals and Guidelines
Let look at this simple scenario. A boy by name Micheal, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering, took a systematic approach to win two different scholarships. His first challenge was to find universities that offer courses within his scope of study, and that fits his qualifications. Due to lack of funding, he resolved to apply for scholarships that required no application fee, but he saved up money to take the GRE and TOEFL test.
He set a goal to apply for 10 scholarships between December 2014 and March 2015, but got to submit nine applications. Then his next one very important step was to work with mentors to guide him through his decisions. While seven of Micheal scholarship applications were rejected, the other two offered him scholarships.
Like Micheal, most scholarship winners applied to more than one scholarship before getting that one. It’s like applying for a job. You don’t stop applying because a few didn’t go through. But each application and interview makes you a better candidate.
Beside this size and scope of what you want to study set goals and set guidelines to stay focused on your goal and have a support group.
3. Find scholarships that are right for you
There are thousands of scholarship programmes out there, but you have to narrow down to the ones you are eligible for, go to. You can use search engines, National Newspapers and other media channels to browse through thousands of scholarship programs based on your course of study, preferred study destination, level of study or your nationality.
Tips to Complete Your Scholarship Application
When you have your list of scholarships to apply for, the next step is to identify the application period and start applying. Here are five tips to help you get to work.
- Gather the Necessary Documents.
Each scholarship program has their specific requirements, but they are common documents that are required. Here is a general list:
Typically each scholarship requires some and not all of these
- Online or offline scholarship application form
- secondary or high school certificate (for undergraduate)
- Degree certificate(s) (for postgraduate)
- TOEFL or IELTS scores for English courses,
- SAT or GRE
- Letters of recommendation
- Statement of Purpose, Motivation Letter or personal statement
- Birth Certificates
- Employer Letter
- International Passport.
Some applications are more lenient with their requirements than others. According to a scholarship winner, his scholarship application did not require an application fee or English proficiency exams, since his secondary school certificate indicated a good score in the English language. But this is not the case for every university or country.
Some documents like your academic results, a language test scores are fixed, meaning you may use the same document for every application, whereas other documents like essay, a letter of recommendation are flexible. You have to tailor them for each application.
- Describe your accomplishments
Let’s assume you have been a volunteer at an NGO that trains young girls on technology skills and you are applying for a scholarship that award candidates in the field of STEM education instead of writing.
Volunteer for Girls Child Education Initiative
Write something like this:
“Volunteer for Girl Child Education Initiative: Designed one month course content to train 400 girls on beginner software development skills”.
The format says nothing about what you did, while the latter elaborates the most important job you did as this organization.
The evaluators may know nothing about the organization, but they sure can imagine the impact of your work. You can use the same activity in a different scenario. For instance, using the same illustration, if you are applying for a scholarship that is forecast on leadership potential. Your description might read something like this.
Volunteer for Girl Child Education Initiative:
Responsible for recruiting and booking volunteer facilitators and trainers. Same activity, but different perspective and emphasizing what is important to the specific scholarship.
- Highlight your most impressive points first
You have limited space on your application form to present yourself, draw attention to your best selling points first. When mentioning your accomplishments or experiences puts them in order of importance, your evaluators may only look at the first two and move on. So while mentioning extracurricular or leadership experiences. Prioritize the information in the order of relevance and value to the specific program you are applying to.
- Be impressive to stand out.
What you present in your application is important. How you present it is even more important. A scholarship application is more than a piece of paper, in the eyes of the evaluators. It is you, take every opportunity to show the judges that you really deserve the award. Remember, it is not the quality of your accomplishments that matters. It is the quality of your contributions.
- Submit all required documents.
The point is to follow instruction on proof all the documents you are asked to provide. Once you have completed your applications, get external help from a reliable person. It is difficult to spot all errors in your own material. A fresh reader will catch the words that you missed and find the spelling problems easier. Once you are done, submit your application and hope for the best.
In summary, start early; set goals and guidelines. Find scholarships that are right for you; highlights your most important points first; describe your accomplishments; be impressive to stand out; Make the effort to submit all the required documents and get someone to proofread your application.
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