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8 tips for filling out great scholarship applications

To all the high school seniors with a college acceptance letter – congratulations! There is one more thing to consider: How will you pay for the next stage of your education? While financial aid and the money you or your parents might have saved up is a good start, there is another key opportunity out there — scholarships.

The Community Foundation administers more than $1 million annually in scholarship funds. How can you get in on the financial support? Here are eight tips to filling out great scholarship applications:

Click for more Winning Scholarship Strategies

  1. Start early. Apply well before the deadline to ensure you have time to finish. Make a list of your accomplishments, relevant experience, and extracurriculars that you can reuse on your applications.
  2. Gather your documents. You’ll need to upload your transcripts and student aid report from FAFSA.If the applications you’re filling out require letters of recommendation, make sure you request those as early as possible. One tip on the letters — ask your teachers for them at the start of your senior year before they get bombarded with dozens of requests.
  3. Understand the requirements. Read the instructions and scholarship eligibility requirements prior to filling out the application.
  4. Complete every section. Do not submit an unfinished application. Fill out boxes that don’t apply as “N/A” or “not applicable.”
  5. List other relevant information. Look beyond what you have done at school and discuss hobbies, volunteer work, and related successes. Enter everything that applies to your area of study. These additions show you’re well-rounded.
  6. Be honest. Don’t embellish, but don’t sell yourself short, either. There’s a difference between highlighting the best parts and twisting the truth. Don’t be afraid to call attention to the accomplishments you’re proud to have on your resume.
  7. Be professional. Use proper spelling and grammar in your application. Proofread everything and have a second set of eyes to check for completeness and suggest any edits. Small details can make a big difference!
  8. Keep trying. Do not be discouraged if you don’t receive a certain scholarship. The more applications you fill out, the better you become at it and increase your chances of winning other scholarships. Apply for as many scholarships as you can!

Check out our list of 2023 available scholarships and information on how to apply through our new Scholarship Portal.

Iida Berg, Scholarship Manager

Through the generosity of people, businesses and organizations passionate about helping students achieve their education dreams, we have more than $1 million in scholarships available for 2023! We award these annually to students from 60 schools, available for high school seniors, college and nontraditional students and K-12 art and music camps and lessons.  Visit our new Scholarship Portal and apply online for scholarships.


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