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Maximising your scholarship search

Finding the perfect scholarship can feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. With so many opportunities available, how can you find one that’s not only financially beneficial, but also aligns with your goals and circumstances? Never fear – we’ve put together a list of the top things to consider during your scholarship search to help you make the right decision.

If you want to apply for a scholarship, you’ll probably need to do a bit of prep first. The more organised you are now, the easier it’ll be to submit your application.

Start by gathering important documents and paperwork you might need. Typically, scholarship applications require you to submit things like:

  • An academic transcript or report card
  • Some proof of identity (driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, etc.)
  • Letters of recommendation or references
  • Proof of income (for scholarships where financial disadvantage is a criterium)

If the scholarship asks for references, make sure you’ve already contacted the people you want to put down and let them know. This way they know to expect a call or email and can prepare a better response in advance.

Now that you have the basics covered and are ready to apply, let’s take a look at some of the most important things to check out during your scholarship search. Going through each of these criteria can help you find a scholarship best suited for your needs and circumstances.

Eligibility criteria

This one seems obvious, but it’s important! Always ensure you meet the specific eligibility requirements of a scholarship before applying, or you might be setting yourself up for disappointment.

Application deadlines

Be aware of the application deadlines for any scholarships you want to apply for. Most scholarships have strict closing dates and won’t accept late submissions, so write it in your calendar, set a reminder on your phone, or tell a friend who can remind you.

Award amount and duration

Consider the scholarship’s award amount and duration to determine if it will provide sufficient financial support throughout your studies. If you’re after more than just money, find out if there are any other perks on offer, like mentoring, workshops, work experience, or study support.

Renewability

Some scholarships are renewable, meaning they can be awarded for multiple years if you maintain certain criteria (e.g. meeting a minimum GPA). Consider how long you might need the support for and whether you’re better off applying for a scholarship that rewards you over multiple semesters or years.

Application requirements

Each scholarship will have unique application requirements, including essays, letters of recommendation, or interviews. Evaluate the effort needed for the application process and make sure you can gather all the necessary materials before the deadline.

Restrictions or conditions

Some scholarships come with specific restrictions or conditions, such as requiring you to study a particular course, attend certain promotional events, or write letters of thanks to donors. Make sure you’re definitely comfortable with any conditions before applying, because if you change your mind down the track, you might lose the funding.

Impact on other financial support

Receiving a scholarship can sometimes impact your eligibility for other financial support, such as government payments and grants. If you’re unsure, reach out to the institution you’re applying to and ask if a scholarship might affect your other financial support options.

Find out more

If you want to find out more about scholarships and get tips on nailing your application, we have more blogs you might like to read here.

Ready to apply? You can search for opportunities on our free money database.

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