Most students are looking for scholarships. To win a college scholarship competition can be tricky and sometimes a bit frustrating. But, it could be a lot easier if we knew the secret steps on how to do it. Here are some tips about how to win a scholarship.
1. Learn details of your scholarship application
After finding the application that suits your desire, learn every detail of it. How much scholarship money do you get, what does it provide (accommodation, tuition fees, life expenses, etc), how long does the program take, and what are the requirements you have to fulfill. Another thing to understand is your status on this scholarship. Are you a full time student or are you also working with a monthly salary? Are the tuition fees fully paid by the university or are you paying it from your salary?
There are types of scholarships that do free you from paying entrance and tuition fees. The scholarship you get covers all your life expenses. There are also scholarships that don't cover the fees. They offer to pay your entrance and first semester tuition fee. On this type, aside from being a student you are also working there. The salary you get every month is then used to gradually pay back the university for fees that they paid you in the first place. Sometimes this type also leaves accommodation to your expense. You need to thoroughly understand what the scholarship program offers you.
2. Write an appealing curriculum vitae
You have understood details of the scholarship you are about to pursue. Now it's time to construct an appealing CV. Generally, it consists of personal information (name, DOB, address, phone number, and e-mail), educational background, and experiences. One thing to remember, you need to make it as professional as possible. Write true information that is relevant to the program. For example, if you apply for a degree that is based on research, write down all of your research experience. When you apply for a scholarship about a leadership program, list all of your activities that describe your leadership skills. Emphasize your experience and you'll get a brilliant CV.
3. Write a killer motivation letter
Most scholarships require the applicant to write an essay about their motivation in applying for the scholarship. This letter is to inform the committee of what program you are applying for and where you got information about the program. In this letter you also state what motivates you to apply and what goal you want to achieve after completing the program. You can add small details about your experiences that you've mentioned on the CV.
There are possibly hundreds or even thousands of applicants that send their application for one scholarship. Reading motivation letters one after another must be exhausting for the committee. It's your job to write a motivation letter that grabs their attention with the very first word that you wrote. It's like advertising your product, if you can create splendid lines, consumers will be interested and buy it. On pursuing the scholarship, your motivation letter is like an advertisement for your self. You are 'selling' your strengths, skills, achievements and experiences. You can spice it up a bit but keep it as natural as possible.
4. Ask for a letter of recommendation from your professors (for continuing study).
This is also a key to winning a scholarship. It's better if you ask for it from professors that you often work with. That's because they also know you well. They can write a fair recommendation, explaining your strengths, skill, and why you are perfect to receive the scholarship.
5. Ask for notification from the scholarship committee.
After sending your documents, confirm it through an e-mail to the scholarship committee. Ask them to send you notification that they have received your mail. You sure don't want to keep waiting for an announcement while your documents are missing on the way.
6. Have informal talks with the committee or professors
This is actually the first thing to do after you find the scholarship to apply for. Introduce yourself to the committee and/or professors of the scholarship program. Tell them your interest to pursue the scholarship. It could help you understand comprehensive details or requirements and offers. It prevents you from making a mistake on preparing documents. You can also build a connection, especially with the professors. So when you finally enter the program you'll find no difficulties finding a person for asking questions.
7. Be prepared for an interview
Whether or not you have gotten notification your submission passed the first review, it's better if you start preparing for the interview. Brush up on more details of the program you applied to, the university you'll enter, and it programs. Make sure you have copied the submission documents before you send it so later on you can read them again.
Pursuing scholarship is not an easy job. It takes a lot of hard work and patience. You just have to keep trying and improving each time. I reccommend you apply for more than one scholarship. Find three or more and apply for them all. But remember, treat every application with the same effort. Good luck!