Step 1: Research scholarships and create a list that you want to apply to
The first step in the process is to identify scholarships that you may qualify for using all of the aforementioned tools. Also be sure to talk to your guidance counselor, as well as college financial aid officer, if one is available. Take advantage of any and all resources available to you. When it comes to researching college scholarships, be sure you cast your net as wide as possible. Also, be sure to conduct research early—and often. New scholarships are available all the time, so it’s important to consistently be checking for them.
Step 2: Organize your research
Every scholarship is different. What this means is that each one will have a slightly different application process and that deadline dates will vary. Organize your research based on deadlines, starting with the most pressing first, to ensure that you don’t miss out on any valuable scholarship opportunities due to a missed deadline.
Step 3: Gather all your documentation
Gather all your basic application documentation so that it’s easily accessible and readily available for inclusion with your scholarship applications. Failing to submit all required documentation will automatically disqualify you from being awarded a scholarship, so be sure to make sure all your ‘i’s are dotted and ‘t’s are crossed. There’s nothing worse than finding out you didn’t receive a scholarship because of a silly mistake.
Step 4: Write your essay and/or cover letter (if required)
Some scholarships require that applicants submit essays on specific topics and/or cover letters. Both provide students with the opportunity to explain why they are the most worthy recipient of the scholarship funds.
Step 5: Fill out—and submit—your application package
The final step in the process is to fill out the application, and double-check that you have everything ready to submit. This includes proofreading your application, essay and cover letter, as well as ensuring that all other supporting documentation—including information about your GPA and admissions test scores— is current. When you’re finally ready to submit everything, be sure to read through the fine print. While many scholarship packages can be submitted electronically, some scholarship committees will only accept submissions via snail mail.
Visit www.chamberofcommerce.org/best-college-scholarships for more information on college scholarships.
—Submitted by Chamber Of Commerce