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Tips for Applying for Grants & Scholarships

The process of applying for grants and scholarships can feel daunting at first – applications can often be lengthy and require what seems like a great deal of information. Planning ahead and finding a rhythm is key to submitting high quality applications quickly, and increasing your chances of winning. Here are some steps to consider.

Get Involved & Track Activities
Volunteering, job experience, and extracurricular activities are all things you can expect to be asked about on scholarship applications. Get involved early, and when you do so, write down the activity descriptions, years participated, hours per week involved, role you played, and a contact person to verify your activity.

Study for the ACT/SAT
Some scholarships are provided by having higher ACT or SAT scores.  Use Khan Academy’s free SAT test prep at Khan Academy or use the Official ACT Prep Guide book to get higher test scores.

Set Up a System & Recycle Your Essays

Letters of Recommendation

Talk to the teachers, mentors, or employers that you would like to write your recommendations ahead of time, giving them at least a week or two to write your letter. Let them know the application requirements for sending their letter (this may be my email or regular mail). Also, ask if they’re willing to edit their recommendation letter for other scholarships.
Writing Essays
If you’re able, check out past winners’ essays to get an idea of what the scholarship committee is looking for. Be sure to thoroughly read the essay prompt and stay focused on the question at hand. Have a teacher or parent read over your essay to check for grammar and to give feedback before submitting it.
Scholarship System Checklist
Résumé/Cover Letter
High School & College Transcripts
Volunteer, Job, & Extracurricular Activities Info
College Acceptance Letter
Recommendation Letter(s)

Find More Scholarships Search more than 8,000 scholarships, fellowships, grants, and other financial aid award opportunities at Career Info Net.
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