Success Tip: How to win a scholarship
In awarding scholarships, organisations and universities look at many factors such as your application, academic transcripts, presentation, essays, community involvement, leadership skills, special talents etc.
Here are tips to help you rise above the crowd, and get your dream scholarship.
- Research on Essays & Scholarships
Hard work often brings the greatest rewards. There is no easy way out. Hard work on your part in the scholarship research and application could result in an easy life and transform your life, your family and community. Do not believe in a scholarship scam that promises to do all the work for you.
Put effort in the research and application process. Many applicants do not want to put in work in research and would rather spend hours chatting with friends or working for an employer.
If you spend 20 hours finding and applying for a scholarship. If you still do not get awarded a scholarship, you will have refined your writing and research skills and are therefore more likely to succeed in similar endeavours in future.
- Locate Many Scholarships
In your research, look for many scholarships and submit as many applications as possible. Applying for many scholarships improves your chances of getting at least one or more.
Focus on the scholarships which you are eligible. Apply for all you qualify for, even if you do not think you will win. You never know, you cannot win the lottery without a ticket!
If you do not qualify, do not apply. Submitting such an application is a waste of your time. It also indicates you have not done your homework and do not respect the application guidelines and requirements.
- Get Organised & Beat the Deadlines
Learn to get organised and keep track of multiple tasks such as deadlines and multiple applications. Have your CV, academic transcripts, research proposal, and other possible requirements ready at all times.
This will help you beat the deadlines and avoid rushed entries especially for scholarships that are announced close to the deadline, giving you weeks or a month to apply. In addition, be sure to have referees who are ready to send out references at a short notice.
Develop a check-list with critical elements needed for your applications such as deadlines, transcripts, test scores, and letters of recommendation.
- Read & Follow the Instructions – Completely
At school, you were told to always double read the questions in the exam paper. The advice still holds true. Read the scholarship advertisement several times. Understanding what is required is the key to fulfilling the requirements.
The recipients of your application will get annoyed when you submit an application for consideration, yet it is painfully obvious you have not read the advert or the requirements.
If you have carefully read the requirements and fulfilled them all, your application will shine through. It will go straight to the top of the pile and get a faster response.
Most scholarships require transcripts. Others require you to write an essay or submit letters of recommendation. Send in what is required. Missing the requirements can cost you a scholarship.
- Plan, Write, Edit, and Rewrite Essays
Some scholarships ask for an essay. You must be able to write about a wide variety of topics. These may or may not be exciting to you. Train yourself to write in a thoughtful way. Be sure to prove that you are a scholar or you have the ability to be one.
In writing essays, create a compelling portrait of yourself, your abilities, and position your skills and strengths as deserving the support of the scholarship committee. Support your essay with concrete examples that illustrate your points and avoid unsupported statements.
Scholarship committee’s award funding to candidates they can understand and who distinguish themselves from the crowd by their ability to communicate their ideas and abilities well. Show your strengths and distinguish yourself from others applicants with similar grades.
Do not send the same CV & essays to different scholarships. Adjust them accordingly.
Always proofread your applications, letters and essays. Make sure your scholarship application is perfect. None of us is immune from an odd error, but counter check your;
- Sentence structure
- Formality vs. informality
- Contact information
- Obvious errors will get your scholarship application denied.
- Proofread it several times. At times it is difficult to see our own mistakes. Have someone else proofread it for you.
- Be Active and Always Stay Active
Sports, club and community service such as volunteering will always better your chances of receiving a scholarship. Be well rounded. Participate in extracurricular and community activities and write about these activities in your scholarship application or essay if possible.
- Take Academics Seriously
If you are still in school or college, keep your grades up. Good results will enable you to be eligible for more scholarships, and increase your chances of receiving grants.
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