Applying to Scholarships 101

A Scholarship is financial support awarded to a student based on academic achievement or other criteria like financial need, for the purpose of schooling. There are various types of scholarships- the two most common are merit-based and need-based. The donor or organization funding the scholarship sets the criteria for recipient selection and specifically defines how the money is to be applied. For example, some organizations may offer scholarships just for books while another could be for tuition and all fees.

Getting a scholarship is easier than it seems. The hard part is meeting deadlines and creating an application that stands out. Your academic resume and scholarship essay are your best shots to showcase why you should receive the award. Following these do’s and don’ts will help you have a successful scholarship application process.

Yellow Pencils School Menu

Scholarship Application Do’s:

Apply early and often.
If you have been debating on when to start applying, the time is now. Typically scholarships have about a 3-4 week time period to apply, then the application closes. Don’t wait until the deadline! If you have your application and essay ready to submit, why wait until the deadline?

Apply for scholarships in different categories.

Don’t limit yourself to one specific type of scholarship. Explore and apply for all types of scholarships you may match for. If you qualify for academic as well as artistic scholarships, apply for both. The more scholarships you actively seek, the higher your chances are of winning more money.

Make your essay personal.

Depending on the scholarship requirements, you are most likely going to be required to submit an essay in the application. Writing an essay that is personal and passionate is key to creating an application that stands out. Using your research and life experiences as a guide to telling an inspiring story will not only touch the reader but broadcast your writing skills.

Stay organized with deadlines and application openings.

It’s easy to lose track of scholarship criteria, requirements and deadlines when you are looking through so many details for multiple scholarships. I suggest creating a digital spreadsheet or physical calendar to keep track of all the information and current status of your application for the scholarships. Has it been submitted or is it still being revised? Keeping track of this allows you to manage your time and track progress.

Be aware of scholarship scams
You never have to pay to apply for a scholarship! Anything that requires an application fee is a scam. It is important to be aware of this when reviewing scholarship requirements.

Scholarship Application Don’ts:

Don’t ignore small scholarships for big scholarships

All scholarships matter! No amount is too small when it comes to scholarships. Some students only apply for scholarships that offer significantly large amounts, which creates a larger applicant pool than for those that have lower amounts. I suggest applying to both small and large scholarships. After all, college is expensive and any sort of additional money can help lower what you’ll have to pay out of your pocket.

 Make assumptions and limit yourself

Don’t count a scholarship out because of the type of organization providing it! If you come across a scholarship being offered by a sporting brand for example, don’t ignore it and assume it will only be for athletes. Do the research and read the criteria! Organizations may not necessarily restrict their scholarship offerings based on their products or service. Look into all opportunities you come across to see if you meet the criteria.


We know paying for college can be tough. Connex is here to help! Connex Credit Union is awarding three scholarships to deserving students.

  • The $2,000 Nicolas G. Hackett Memorial Scholarship
  • The $2,000 John R. Edwards Community Involvement Scholarship (for students demonstrating a commitment to community service)
  • The $2,000 Arthur B. Haesche Memorial Scholarship (specifically for business students)

The deadline to have all applications and transcripts in is March 9, 2020! For details and to apply visit, .

Good Luck!


Improving the lives of our members... one member at a time.

Posted in Budgeting, College

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s