Tips for Winning Scholarships

April 20th, 2011 by admin

As the economy remains stagnant, more people are choosing to return to school. Many nontraditional adult students returning to college are under the false impression that all scholarships are for younger students entering school for the first time. This is simply not true. Many sources exist that offer scholarship aid for those students over the age of 25. Scholarships tend to be competitive. There are many things an applicant can do to increase his or her chances of being selected to receive these scholarships.
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First, the applicant should be prepared to apply early for scholarship offers. The providers tend to have strict deadlines and the offers open/close far in advance of their intended semesters. Starting far in advance also gives plenty of opportunity to take one’s time in making sure everything is complete, neat and free of errors. It also offers time to take care of any issues that may arise, such as lost documentation or the need for clarification.

When seeking a scholarship, an applicant must make sure that he or she meets the requirements. Some awards are very specific, and missing any of the parameters will knock an applicant out of consideration. Be sure to include all required samples, documents and other requested items. Forgetting anything could lead to delays or outright disqualification.

Scholarship applicants should be prepared to market themselves to the scholarship provider as a positive addition to the educational institution or profession. Excellent grades, high entry test scores and professional achievements are all important factors. Adults should have some sort of leadership or community service experience to showcase as well. This may be a good time to create a portfolio of projects for one’s profession and list any awards received. If there is anything that appears detrimental, such as a bad grade, be sure to offer an explanation. Leave nothing to the imagination of the application’s reviewer.

Part of marketing one’s self is preparation of an outstanding essay. The essay portion of the application is the equivalent of a face-to-face interview and should be taken just as seriously. This offers the chance to really explain one’s goals and why he or she is the best choice for the educational award. Keep in mind that the awarding institution wants to be certain it is making the best decision for giving away scarce resources.

It would be a good idea to seek the advice of people that have received scholarships. Better yet, applicants should use their network of mentors, past professors, supervisors and other professional acquaintances to guide them. Experience and another set of eyes goes a long way to polishing the application and revealing mistakes.

One of the newer tips to take to heart is checking personal Internet presence. Many people use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Anyone that applies for scholarships should make sure that these sources of personal information show nothing detrimental. There have been cases in which decisions have been made or altered because of a person’s social information online.

Start your college search at US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter and check out all of our online degree options.

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