How to Apply for Scholarships

By Alexis Sanchez on November 21, 2019

So, I wrote about How to Find Scholarship Opportunities in my last article with a short blurb that you have to make sure to follow through and apply as well. This article can be thought of as a part 2 continuation moving from the finding stage to the applying stage while in college and graduate school. I can admit (from current personal experience) that applying for scholarships is just as much of a process as finding them. There are usually multiple steps to completing one scholarship which can take time to fill out. Some scholarships even ask for you to submit multiple documents and to essentially prove that you deserve the scholarships. It can be very intimidating and you can find yourself asking: Do I actually deserve this scholarship? I’m here to say, if you’re thinking this, then you definitely deserve it! So, here are some tips on how to apply for scholarships.

School Checklist

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Apply to the scholarships most relevant to you first!

Usually, after you look for scholarships, you end up with a long list of ones you can apply to and it can seem daunting. How will you be able to apply to 34 scholarships when you barely have time to breathe from all of your assignments?! Well, I would take that much-needed breath, go through the list, and pick out the most relevant scholarships to you. I copied and pasted them onto a Microsoft Word document so that I can look at my own list of the 16 scholarships that fit me the best compared to the long list I started with. Then, I put an asterisk (*) next to the ones that I really knew I would be able to fill out the easiest which narrowed it down to two scholarships.

Apply to the scholarships that require less

Since some scholarships provide a lot of money, they ask for a lot from you to show that you should get it over other people. Sometimes they ask for you to write multiple essays, include relevant documentation, and include recommendations. Sometimes they only ask for one essay or one essay and your resume, so these are the scholarships that I starred as well. This included 10 out of my list, so I had a good 12 scholarships to start with and knew I had 2 that would be easier for me to fill out first. This made me feel way better.

CV Resume Flowchat

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Make sure to have your resumes and experiences ready

Always make sure to have your resumes ready! However, don’t be surprised if you have to edit your resume depending on the scholarship’s requirements. Making your CV into a resume 1-2 pages long as a graduate student can seem impossible, but it can be helpful to include the experiences and information that the scholarship asks for first before you include other potentially relevant experiences. Also, pro tip: You can change the font size and margins to accommodate the page length!

Ask for recommendations as soon as possible!

If you have scholarships that ask for recommendations, then make sure to ask your recommenders as soon as possible to provide one. You have to allow them time (at least 2-3 weeks before it’s needed) to be able to work on it as a sign of respecting them and their time. Also, look out for if your scholarships mention specific aspects, experiences, or a specific page limit that they would like from your recommendations because you should definitely mention these instructions to your recommenders as well. Now you can go forth with all the tools for how to apply for scholarships to get it done!

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