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The process of researching and applying for scholarships can be a major undertaking. As you explore your options for finding scholarship opportunities, you are likely to have a number of questions. One of the most common scholarship FAQs from individuals who are just getting started with the scholarship application process is: What information will I need to complete my scholarship application forms?
The type of information you will need to complete scholarship applications will vary from one scholarship program to another, based on specific scholarship guidelines. Most applications will require general demographic information about the applicant, such as contact information, date of birth, gender, etc.
Scholarship applications usually require details about educational background, such as grade point average, standardized test scores, prior schools attended, date (or expected date) of high school graduation, and other information. You are generally required to submit official transcripts, either from your high school or previous college coursework.
Some applications have a series of short answer questions, such as questions about career goals, work experience, extracurricular activities, and similar details. Some may even require a resume. Many applications require candidates to include a letter of application and/or an essay.
In addition to samples of your own writing, you may also need to submit letters of recommendation from teachers, your guidance counselor, an employer, or other person who can attest to your qualifications. For example, if you are applying for funding from a national professional organization, you might have to ask a member of the local chapter to write a letter on your behalf.
If the scholarship is need-based, documentation of financial need might need to be provided. Keep in mind that you should always validate that you are working with a legitimate scholarship provider before releasing any sensitive financial information.
Specialty scholarship programs may have very specific requirements. For example, many music scholarship programs require applicants to submit audition tapes. If you are applying for a scholarship program for minorities, you are likely to be asked to provide documentation of your minority status.
When you are ready to start applying for scholarships, it is a good idea to start gathering the information you are likely to need and store it in a central location. Assuming that you plan to apply for a number of scholarships, you are likely to need the same types of information several times. By keeping your information organized and easily accessible, you can save a lot of time when filling out scholarship application.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|