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Tips for applying for Scholarships

A selection of hints from MAPAS on how to apply for scholarships.

  • Know what’s out there and apply for everything you qualify for! Many students don’t apply because they don’t think they will get it, but you need to apply in order to be considered.
  • Don’t ignore small awards! They all add up.
  • Create a scholarship calendar that has all of the scholarships you can apply for and their due dates. Look for scholarships as soon as you possibly can – it is never too early to gather information.
  • Be organised! There are no extensions for scholarship applications.
  • Make sure you begin your application early – you will need to gather information and find referees and this takes time.
  • Provide your referees with ample time to write you the best reference they can – no last minute requests for referees, they will be rushed and you need to present yourself in the best light possible. Make sure you supply your referees with information about the scholarship you are applying for.
  • Make sure you fit the application criteria – so you don’t waste time.
  • Educate yourself about the scholarship you are applying for. Think about what the scholarship sponsor is trying to do by providing this scholarship and tailor your application to this. Tell them how you will contribute to the outcome they are aiming to achieve with this scholarship.
  • Be thorough in your answers. One word answers or brief sentences are usually not enough to give a good impression – sell yourself and your potential. A good way to do this is to give examples in your answers.
  • Follow instructions. Do not include things that are not asked for and make sure you completely understand what they are asking you – when in doubt, ask!
  • Think about what you believe your best characteristics and accomplishments are and if possible include them in your application.
  • Respond directly to application criteria – i.e. if one of the criteria for application is leadership potential then mention your leadership skills and give an example when you have used them.
  • Be tidy with your presentation – remember you need to present yourself as a good scholarship applicant and in many cases your application is the only way they get an impression of you and who you are.
  • Check and re-check. Make sure that you have included all the necessary information and checked your grammar etc. before you submit your application.
  • Make sure your application stands out from the crowd. Why do you think you should get it? Show passion and determination to achieve your goals.
  • Be aware of your online image since the scholarship provider may google you. Google yourself and make sure the image presented is one you are proud of.
  • Never give up! If you don’t get the first scholarship you apply for that’s fine – just keep trying until you get one. Build a portfolio of applications to use so you can simply cut and paste.