Monday, June 24, 2013

Asking for College Money: How Scholarships Can Help pt2

Your application form
  You'll only get one, so don’t mess it.  Before you start filling it out, read through it to make sure you have the necessary information that it requires.  If you can, have it photocopied and practice writing or typing on it so you can avoid mistakes on the real one.  White-out will do the trick on the original form, but it won't make a neat application.

  Fill out the application form legibly.  If your handwriting isn’t that good, use a typewriter.  Don't leave anything blank.  If some items aren't applicable to you, then make sure to indicate it on the form.  If there are questions that you don’t understand, call the scholarship sponsor and ask.  Lastly, don't forget your signature and indicate the date of application.  

  Once you've read through your application once or twice, make at least one copy for your file.  In the meantime, prepare all documents and photocopies that may be required by the scholarship program, such as birth certificate, school transcripts, certifications, citations, standardized test scores, FAFSA or PROFILE forms, your parents' tax returns and other financial information, letters of recommendation and proof of eligibility.

Your essay

  One thing to remember about essays is that they do have a limit.  Try to keep within the word or page limit specified in your scholarship application and keep to the point.  Write only about what is required by the program.  Also, make sure your handwriting is legible or if it's printed, check for typographical and grammatical errors.  Keep a copy of your essay in your file, just in case you'll need it for another application.

  After checking that every document is present and accounted for, attach them to your application form, send it and cross your fingers.  All you have to do now is wait.

  If you're being considered for a scholarship, you'll be asked to come for a personal interview so be prepared.  If your scholarship is talent-based, you might need to prepare for a performance or an audition or have your portfolio organized and ready.

Keeping it real
  Never apply for a scholarship that you either pay for or is guaranteed.  Scholarships are gifts and are awarded based solely on merit and eligibility and these, you do not pay for.  Guaranteed scholarships are also an impossibility, since there are guidelines and requirements that must be met.  
  Scholarships can take a big chunk out of your college expenses and can pay for books and supplies that you will otherwise have to pay for.