Steps for Obtaining Outside Scholarships
START EARLY GET INVOLVED
The more time you give yourself, the more successful your search. Start the process at least nine months before you need funds.
Scholarship donors are looking for well-rounded students who are involved in activities both in school and in the community. A well–rounded student has a better chance of receiving scholarships. Also remember that some clubs and organizations have scholarships associated with membership.
Consider unique circumstances or conditions that might make you eligible for scholarships such as being a foster child, having asthma, having a disability or being a part of a military family. Scholarship opportunities can be found in many places including local civic organizations, your (or your parents’) employers, local businesses, your high school guidance counselor’s office, and the Internet.
Apply for as many scholarships that you are eligible for as possible. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to complete applications and remember many applications require letters of recommendation, transcripts and other supporting documentation. Give yourself plenty of time to collect this information. Give people writing letters of recommendation at least two weeks to complete the letter. Most scholarships have strict deadlines for applying. Keep a calendar with all of the deadlines listed so that you do not let any expire.
Before you send in your completed application, make sure to double check for spelling and grammar errors. Put your best effort forward, be neat and organized – first impressions count!
Remember that the application process takes time and it could be months before you are notified of any awards. It’s not uncommon for there to be no follow-up correspondence from the organization as they receive numerous applications.
DON’T GIVE UP
Just because you didn’t receive one scholarship doesn’t mean you won’t receive others, so keep applying and don’t get discouraged, the more applications you submit the more likely you’ll receive a scholarship.