Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, academic achievement, financial need, or a combination of the three. Financial need is rarely the primary factor considered, but it is often used to make a decision among equally qualified finalists. The criteria of each scholarship depend on the values or goals of the group offering the scholarship, however, you must meet all criteria in order to be eligible.
Important to note - you don't have to be admitted to the College in order to apply for financial aid or scholarships. But you must be admitted at the time scholarship decisions are made to be considered.
SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION PROCESS
The application process for each scholarship is different; please follow the directions listed with each scholarship. However, all scholarships will require you to complete an essay; essay topics may vary. The essay is a critical part of the application because it is often the only information the selection committee will have about each candidate. You should also submit a current resume with each application.
Some scholarship applications will ask for an individual assessment of your budget. This is the place to discuss special issues that need to be explained in greater detail. If there is not enough room on the budget form, attach a copy of your explanation to the application. If the application states no attachments are allowed, you may want to devote some part of your essay to discussing your situation (if the essay allows for it).
You also might consider focusing your application/essay on:
- Community Service/Volunteer Work - ANYTHING you do for others - at an organization such as a school, church, youth organization or non-profit facility; helping a neighbor or relative who is a senior or disabled.
- Preferences - ethnic minority, first generation (neither parent has a four year degree), single parent and female, etc.