The following items are extremely helpful:
Keep all of your scholarship materials in one place; this will make the entire process easier, especially if you need to pull together an application on short notice. Put your letters of recommendations, application materials and unofficial transcripts in the sheet protectors and file them in your binder or folder.
A calendar is especially useful if you intend to apply for numerous scholarships. You can enter the deadlines in your calendar as well as contact information for the scholarships. Refer to the calendar to stay on track with your applications; missing the deadline by even one day will disqualify you.
Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) - www.fafsa.ed.gov
Bellevue College School Code is: 003769.
Most sponsors want two or three Letters of Recommendation.
Request your letters as soon as possible and keep them in sheet protectors in your Scholarship Binder. Expecting someone to produce a quality letter of recommendation for you on short notice isn't reasonable or respectful. Take care of this step early on in the scholarship process.
Examples: teacher, employer, community leader, athletic coach, club coordinator, advisor, counselor, religious leader, volunteer coordinator.
(Do not ask a family member)
It is beneficial to have one academic or professional letter and one personal letter. These letters should provide examples of your strengths, interests, and personality. Keeping the letters focused on the types of scholarships you are looking for is helpful but not necessary.
Recognize that it is a time consuming task to write a letter of recommendation. Give the letter writer at least three weeks notice and let them know you appreciate their efforts. The following are tips that are helpful when asking a potential letter writer:
Check in with your letter writer about one week before the scholarship application needs to be mailed out. After you have received the letter, promptly send a thoughtful thank you note. Your letter writer volunteered his or her time to help you; they deserve your appreciation. Keep them posted regarding your scholarship search and share your successes with them. They will be happy for you and feel rewarded for the time they spent assisting you. Stay in touch with them as you may need them to revise the letter and it is good to update your letters every year.
Now to the part of the scholarship application process that produces the most anxiety - essay writing! Many people have writers block when it comes to writing about themselves. Below are some tips to help you through the process:
Sponsors want to have a picture of who you are, not just that you need money. Spend some time writing your autobiographical essay. This "life story" can serve as the foundation for any and all essay questions you may be asked by sponsors. It is a great way to brainstorm and get your experiences and current direction down on paper. Bring more depth to your essay by writing about the impact life occurrences or circumstances have had on your outlook, passion for your field, dedication to education, and so on. Spending the time writing your life story will help solidify and strengthen your scholarship essays.
The Bellevue College Writing Lab offers free quarterly workshops that can help you in improving your writing skills. For additional information visit http://bellevuecollege.edu/writinglab/
Check out BC's Scholarship Website: www.bellevuecollege.edu/scholarships/
Fill out a profile on: www.fastweb.com
Be specific in completing your profile, they will email you scholarships that match your profile.
The following are important tips for successfully submitting scholarship applications:
Contact Ernesto Bowie in the Bellevue College Financial Aid Office at email@example.com or at (425)564-2688.
He will work with you and the sponsor to ensure that the scholarship is applied appropriately to your account.
Send a thank you note. Take the time to send a brief, but thoughtful, thank you note to the sponsor organization. If you have specific contact information, send it directly to this person.
Follow up with another thank you letter to the sponsor organization. Let them know how much you appreciate their support, how you are progressing in your academic program and how their scholarship has positively benefited your life.
Sign-up to be notified of upcoming scholarships
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