Applying for University Scholarships

So I just completed my Continuing Scholarship application for the upcoming 2010-2011 school year. The deadline for the scholarship is midnight on April 1, but in order to be considered for the Texas Exes scholarships I had to get it in by March 1–which is TOMORROW!

These 28 days in February really threw me off, but I am now back on track.

In talking to my friends about the scholarship I learned that a lot of them were not even applying for it because they either didn’t know where to go to find the application online or didn’t know about it at all.

Well if you are in the same boat as them, then I am here to help you out.

This year, many students are going to be looking at financial aid to help lessen the blow that the economy has had on jobs and income. Many will also need more than government aid to get through the year, and scholarships are one great place to start looking for those extra funds.

First things first, complete your FAFSA , which is your application for federal government need-based financial awards, such as grants and loans. To be considered for the full range of scholarships offered through the Office of Student Financial Services, students must complete the FAFSA, which is available beginning January 1. The priority deadline for Fall attendees is March 31.

Many scholarships are based on merit, but in the case of need-based scholarships the FAFSA is often referenced. Get this beast out of the way early because it is tedious and a lot of work.

The second step is to look around for scholarships and start applying. The main site for campus-wide scholarships at UT is Texas Scholarships but be sure to check each individual school for their departmental scholarships. There are also scholarships outside of UT, so just be creative and look around.

Keep in mind, however, that all of these may have different deadlines, so make sure you are aware of when the application is due. Nothing is worse than writing a great personal essay, only to find out that it was due yesterday

Another big key to remember is that some scholarships may require letters of recommendation. If they do, be sure to ask early! I have always heard that two weeks in advance is a pretty good standard, so be sure that you don’t offend your favorite professor or faculty member by asking them the day before. Check out this site from Cornell that has some great tips on asking for letters of recommendation.

Overall, as you can see, the main thing about applying for scholarships is to just stay on top of things. I have found it helpful to keep all of my old essays and have an updated resume on hand so that you have something to reference when filling out each application.

If you decide to apply, good luck! And don’t put it off!

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One response to “Applying for University Scholarships

  1. Jordyn Davenport

    Applying for scholarships can definitely be a daunting process because it involves writing so many essays and short essays and there are so many things to keep track of! I definitely recommend keeping a folder on your computer with all of your essays and reference contact information so that you can reuse them when possible as well as a word document listing every scholarship you want to apply for, what materials you still need (transcript, letter of recommendation, etc.) and when the due dates are! I have definitely experienced the dread in realizing you need to ask someone to write you a letter of recommendation that is due in 3 days because you forgot about it!

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