Scholarship Tips

 

Longview High School
Longview, Texas

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This page was last updated on
08/29/2011 02:42 PM

 Keep in mind that you will not be eligible for every scholarship that comes your way. It is the responsibility of the applicant to carefully read all eligibility requirements of each scholarship to determine whether or not he/she is indeed eligible to apply.

Organize yourself! Don't try to apply for every scholarship at one time.

 If you have a lot of scholarships to apply for, organize them by deadline dates and complete them in that order. Do not expect scholarship organizations to accept your application after their deadline date. It is your responsibility to manage your time so that you can complete the application and collect the necessary attachments. Use a calendar and write the titles of the scholarships you intend to apply for on the dates that you should mail them or return them to the designated person (not when they expire). Punctuality, as well as following instructions, is part of the criteria by which your application is evaluated.

Compose an essay using the prompt, What are my goals for your future? Try to write a good essay that is no more than 300 words in length. Have your English teacher critique it for you. You can use this for many different scholarships. It's surprising  how many scholarships require essays about the same subject(s). With just a little tweaking, you can create several versions of the same subject to satisfy the word requirements or subject requirements of several applications.

Get several letters of recommendation from teachers, employers, and people in the community and/or church. If you were in some sort of volunteer program, get the person in charge to write one for you. Come by the Scholarship Drawer to get the Student Data Sheet. Complete it, make copies of it, and give it to the people you ask to write letters of recommendations for you. The information will assist them in describing you to whomever the letter is addressed. Make copies of all of your letters of recommendation. You can use them for the scholarships that require them. Tip:  Request that the people composing your letter of recommendation omit a date on their letter so that you can use it well into the future.

Sign up for your transcripts in the Registrar's Office by signing your name on the form affixed to the door. Transcripts for scholarship applications are FREE! You can request several at a time (about 3-5) to keep on hand for future applications. Remember that the information on your transcript such as credits and class rank will change at the end of the semester and again at the end of the 5th six-weeks. Don't request so many that you can't use them before they become outdated! Tip:  Please allow 24-36 hours from the time you request your transcript until you pick it up.
An Extremely Important Tip:
  If you discover some information is missing from your transcript, such as a credit earned in middle or high school, test scores (PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP), credit received through credit by exam, credit by acceleration, etc., please make the error known to the registrar so that it is resolved ASAP. It may take time to investigate the reason for the error and you must resolve it before graduation!

Make sure that you read the instructions on the scholarship applications carefully.  Here is something you may not know. When an organization sends LHS an application, they usually attach a cover letter addressed to the counselor with an explanation of the judging criteria. Most often “how well student follows directions” is one of the judging criteria. Watch for the obscure instructions throughout the application. Many students miss these, and, consequently, their applications are discarded.

Type or print the application in BLACK ink. Why black? Because it photocopies better than blue. Many times your application is copied and sent to several judges for their perusal.

You may encounter an application that asks you to submit your high school resume. What is a high school resume? It is basically a list of important information about you that you want judges to know about you when considering you for an award. From a scholarship judge’s perspective, the advantage of using a resume is that it is a quick method of noting the applicant’s strong points. While the essay can reveal a great deal about you, it can take the judges a great deal of time to pick out the important points. The resume is a quick way to present your strengths, accomplishments, etc. to the judges. The resume should list background information, academic information, career goals, community service, hobbies, and any other information that you think might set your application apart from all others. The Internet is a great resource for creating a resume.

This is the most important tip to remember:  Don’t forget to continue to apply for scholarships and other forms of financial aid after you enroll in college. There are actually more funds, foundations, endowments, etc. set up by college alumni to assist students already enrolled in an institution. You should keep in touch with the financial aid officer of the college or university that you attend. The financial aid offices at most major colleges publish a newsletter that contains scholarship opportunities. Find out how your college publicizes these opportunities.

Another great source of help for composing scholarship winning essays and resumes is http://www.scholarshiphelp.org/.

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