Summer vacation is a great time for relaxing, enjoying yourself, and…preparing for scholarship applications? Believe it or not, you can start preparing for scholarship applications right now, and it will make the process much easier later!
How can you prepare for future scholarship applications this summer? Check out these tips!
This is information that you should already know, but there are some items you may need to decide or track down for scholarship purposes. Some common information requested on scholarship applications includes name, mailing address, email address, phone number, the college you plan to attend, your major, your GPA, a list of your extracurricular activities, and (very rarely), your social security number. If you do not have a personal email address outside of any school accounts, now would be a great time to set up your own email account.
Essays may be the most time-consuming part of scholarship applications, so a little preparation in advance will help you out later. It will not be possible to fully prepare for scholarship essays since each application will have its own essay prompts, but by researching common essay prompts online, you can get some ideas together before you have to write anything.
Letter of Recommendation
If you’re not sure who to ask for a letter of recommendation, now is a great time to put together a list. Think of adults in your life who are not related to you, but who are invested in helping you succeed. Some examples of possible recommenders include faculty/staff at your school, coaches, mentors, religious leaders, work supervisors, and volunteer coordinators. You will want a handful of options so that you can rotate your recommendation requests and not ask the same person every time.
Now is also a great time to briefly reach out to your potential recommenders and ask if they would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation in the future. Keep track of who says yes and circle back to them when you are completing scholarship applications. Now would also be a great time to practice your thank-you note-writing skills, since you should keep in the habit of thanking your recommenders for their time.
When a scholarship application requests financial information, it is usually information from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). High school seniors can complete their FAFSA during the school year (the graduating class of 2024 can complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA starting December 2023), but you can start planning for the FAFSA now by researching the tax information you’ll need. EducationQuest Foundation offers free FAFSA help at all of our locations, so set up an appointment if you have questions!
Most scholarships will not require an interview, but you may come across a handful that do. Research common scholarship interview questions and prepare some answers. If the scholarship you’re applying for is well-known and/or prestigious, you may even be able to find the specific interview questions for that scholarship.
The scholarship application process can be a lot easier with a little advanced preparation. Gather your materials now and thank yourself later!
By Allison Ourada