Best Practices: Make Your Scholarship Application Shine

Hundreds of Phi Theta Kappa members apply for scholarships using the Fall Common App each year. So how do you make sure your application stands out from the rest?

Heather Johnson, Phi Theta Kappa’s Director of Scholarship Programs, shares these tips that will help your scholarship application shine above the others!

Apply EARLY! Deadlines can make or break you. Official transcripts can take time to obtain, and overnight mailing is EXPENSIVE. Online applications can’t be completed two hours ahead of deadline; give yourself time, as you might run into technological or login problems.

Apply OFTEN! Practice makes everything better.

Create a scholarship RESUME. You’ll want to include the following items:
– Education
– Campus Involvement
– Community Service
– Scholarships and Awards
– Work Experience

Read the PURPOSE of the Scholarship.

Establish solid LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION. Choose someone who knows you well and can provide specific and pertinent information. Explain the criteria of the award – photocopy the application for them. Give recommenders ample time to compose your letter. Send thank-you letters afterwards.

When writing your ESSAY:
– Stick to the topic.
– Use vivid details. They’ll make your application stand out.

Your application should be NEAT and EASY TO READ. Type everything (if paper) or proofread (if online). Never submit your first draft. Organize information with bullets. This is your one chance in front of the judges – make a good impression!

Have MULTIPLE persons CRITIQUE your application.

Double-check your application for COMPLETION. An incomplete application is as good as NO application.

PHOTOCOPY or PRINT your application before submission. You can use it as a reference. If it gets lost, you’ll have a spare.

Above all, do not miss the deadline! Applications are due December 2, 2013!

Read more about the scholarships offered on the Fall Common Scholarship Application. And find even more helpful tips and advice on our Tutorial Videos.

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