Scholarship Application Tips - 2023
The Pachyy Editorial Team comprises a diverse and experienced team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts whose aim is to provide you with useful insights, guidance and commentary on all matters related to your personal finances.
Scholarships applications can be very competitive. In order to stand out from the crowd, we have complied a list of the top 9 most important things to consider when submitting a scholarship as per students who’ve already successfully applied for funding and financial aid staff at some of the best universities in America!
- Apply as Soon as Possible
- Don’t Ignore Small Scholarships
- Apply, Apply, Apply
- Check College Websites
- Check Scholarship Search Engines
- Letters of Recommendation
- Write a Great Application Essay
- Beware of Scholarship Scams
- Don’t be Modest
1. Apply as Soon as Possible
The sooner that you begin the scholarship application process, the better according to students and markers. Giving yourself plenty of time means that you application won’t looked rushed or sloppy – main reason many scholarships are rejected. Moreover, certain scholarships are awarded on a ‘rolling’ basis meaning that students who apply first have more chance of success.
2. Don't Ignore Small Scholarships
Some scholarships (like the Pachyy Financial Scholarship offered by Pachhy) give less than $2,000 to winning scholars. Although these rewards may seem too low to be worth the time to apply, often, these scholarships have less competition than larger scholarships. Moreover, winning multiple small scholarships can add up.
3. Apply, Apply, Apply
It is very common to receive many rejection letters well before you receive a scholarship. Many scholarship winners highlight the need to keep apply to scholarships and not be deterred by minor setbacks.
4. Check College Websites
Many universities have an extensive scholarship list on their websites. These lists cover both institutional scholarships and external scholarships from local and national organisations. Often these alternative scholarship sources can be overlooked, despite providing reasonable scholarships with low competition.
5. Check Scholarship Search Engines
With over 5 million scholarships available in America, it can be difficult to find a sizable list of scholarships that are suited to your unique criteria. Scholarship search engines do the heavy lifting for you, allowing you to search millions of scholarships by filtering through criteria.
6. Letters of Recommendation
Some scholarships require that you provide letters of recommendation to apply. Carefully consider who you chose to write your letter of recommendation. The individual should be credible, unbiased and able to speak to your strengths and ability to overcome your weaknesses. Letters from family members are generally a no-no. Give your recommender suitable time and all information they may require about yourself or the scholarship. Follow up with your recommender periodically.
7. Write a Great Application Essay
Some scholarships require that you write an essay as part of the application process. It is important to make sure that the essay that you submit is void of grammatical / spelling errors, answers the essay question and is succinct. Take time to analyse the essay question and stick to it when answering. Moreover, get others to proof-read the essay to make sure that it is written well.
8. Beware of Scholarship Scams
Hundreds of scholarship scams are run annually, costing students hundreds of thousands of dollars. To learn what scams are commonly run and how to detect them, refer to our scholarship scam guide.
9. Don't be Modest
Applications will often ask you to talk about your achievements, hobbies or time where you have overcome adversity. Although you may be hesitant to ‘brag’ about your accomplishments, scholarship applications are one of the few occasions in life where it’s necessary to brag.
Let the reader know what recognition and awards you’ve received, emphasize activities that illustrate your talents, passions, leadership skills, persistence, and care for your community. Moreover, don’t forget about your employment and family responsibilities – these can say a lot about you too.