Small tips to improve your odds when applying for a scholarship

Posted on January 11th, 2013

To receive a college scholarship, you don't have to necessarily be your class valedictorian or your school's star athlete. You do, however, have to be organized to a fault so that you can guarantee your application is actually considered.

In reality, there are several key steps that you should follow to guarantee that you stand a shot at receiving funds for college.

For starters, make sure that you have filled out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible. This document becomes available to students every January and ensures that they are aware of the aid they may qualify for and how much they still need to cover going into the next academic year. Many scholarships are given out early in the year, so by waiting around to file your FAFSA, you may end up missing out on helpful opportunities.

Once you apply for the scholarship, there are a lot of minor steps you can take that will greatly increase your odds of success.

With every application, consider sending a self-addressed stamped envelope along with the other materials. This invites the scholarship committee to send you back any supplementary information about the award and shows them you are enthusiastic about the prospect. Some applications will actually require you provide a stamped envelope, but by supplying one either way, it shows initiative.

Also, be sure you are acutely aware of the dates of submission and when you should expect to hear back about whether or not you received the scholarship. For the best success, keep a separate calendar devoted exclusively to your scholarship applications.

Finally, make copies of every document you ship out so that you can back up any items that might need to be resubmitted. A scholarship can be huge when you need help paying for college, so be sure not to let little things get in the way of receiving one.

Category: Financial Aid