- Start to build a network of professionals and educators who are willing to advise you, write recommendations, proofread your applications and essays, and guide you through the application process.
- Be ready with the necessary information and experience to apply for need and/or merit based funding.
- Each scholarship fund has its own specific guidelines. Before applying for a scholarship, be certain that you meet, or will meet, all the necessary qualifications such as academic standing, specified financial situation, and personal or professional background and explain how you meet them.
General Application Tips:
- Have multiple copies of the application in case you make a mistake and must start over.
- Make a checklist of what you need to have for the application.
- Make a copy of your ENTIRE application and keep it in a folder. That way, if your submission is lost, you can easily and quickly send another copy.
- Unless otherwise stated, please bind all the materials for the application together. It makes it easier to keep up with loose sheets.
- Put your name on all of the materials; photo, every page of the essay, recommendations, etc. If part of your application is misplaced, there will be no confusion as to what belongs to which applicant.
- If you have multiple names, i.e. two last names, please be consistent with which name you go by. Do not put “James Avery” when you go by “James Avery-Johnson.” It makes clarification easier.
- If the application asks for a GPA or other specific information, fill in the information, do not write "see transcript."
- If you want to be taken seriously, consider getting a generic email address rather than a cutesy one like "jellybean07" or "pimpstress" or "lopezlover." Email is used as a form of contact with applicants. Consider setting up a separate email account for college information and scholarship information. Make sure that your email address is clearly legible. If filling out by hand, put a slash through zeros so they do not look like letters.
- If a required attachment will be sent from another source, such as a high school or college transcript or financial aid information, it is up to you to make sure the information has been sent.
- No substitutions! If an item is requested, particularly for a need-based program, provide it. If you don’t understand the request, ask. In competitive programs, the missing or substituted item could tank an otherwise strong application.
- Read your application packet and ask yourself, “Would I give an award to this person if all I knew about them is the information presented in these documents?”
- Don’t let a parent fill out the application.
- Your application package represents the entire and only picture of you the selection committees have. Always type (or neatly print using black ink) your application. Your application must appear neat and professional.
- Proofread your application. Pay particular attention to any spaces you have left blank. If the answer is zero, write in 0 rather than leaving a blank spot. If the question does not apply to you, do not write in N/A. You risk eliminating yourself for the selection process. Simply answer the question to the best of your knowledge. Blank spaces can deem your application incomplete and ineligible!
- Have at least one other person review your application package, and supporting documents, including your personal statement or essay. Find the most qualified person to proofread for you.
- Start early! Rushing to the post office to get a piece of mail postmarked on the day of a deadline is not really that much fun--it's stressful! Leave plenty of time to check, double-check, and triple-check to make sure all directions have been followed and that you are turning in the best application possible. Scrambling leads to mistakes. Use a calendar to keep yourself on top of things. Remember that there is nothing wrong with turning in an application before the deadline!
- If a photo is requested, use a suitable color head shot, not your prom photo or photo sitting on the beach and wearing inappropriate clothing.
- Be sure to follow guidelines. If the application asks for a self-addressed stamped postcard to receive confirmation, include that. Don’t include an envelope; follow the guidelines.
- If you are notified that you have received a scholarship always send a thank you note to the donor. If appropriate, continue to keep the donor informed of your progress throughout the year.
College First Foundation
130 E John Carpenter Frwy
Irving, TX 75062-2708
Ph. (972) 999-4560
Fx. (972) 999-4559