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Applying for Outside Scholarships

  1. Submit applications early
    Do not wait until the last minute to submit your online scholarship applications. Computer systems can get clogged with a high level of last minute applicants and your application may not go through.
  2. Get reusable reference letters
    When getting reference letters, try to get them addressed "To whom it may concern" or something else general, so you do not have to keep going back to the author of the reference letter for each scholarship you are applying for.
  3. Have your application checked
    Have family members, friends, or educators read though your application to check for errors or for information you may have forgotten to include.
  4. Follow up with third parties
    If you have a third party that needs to complete any portion of your application, such as letters of reference, make sure you follow up early with these third parties to make sure you have all the necessary documents ready in time.
  5. Use specifics in your essay
    When answering essay questions, make sure to include specific examples to back up your statements. For example, if you state that you work well in team settings, provide a specific example of yourself when you were part of a team and what you were able to accomplish as a team member.
  6. Do not exaggerate on your application
    Give an honest account of yourself that you could back up if the selection committee asked you detailed follow up questions.
  7. Make your essay interesting and unique
    Write an interesting essay using specific events or ideas. Do not edit the life out of an essay. You want the essay to stand out, engage the reader, and let them get to know you.