How To Apply
Applying for scholarships is an easy process. Scholaroo provides a plethora of Illinois scholarships that you can apply for. You can save all the scholarships that you are eligible for by creating a Scholaroo account. You can also track your saved scholarships.
The following are the main steps to follow when applying for any scholarship:
1. Check Eligibility
Scholarship websites are the easiest place to find most scholarship opportunities as they list all the available options under one roof. They also list scholarships according to state, college major, demographic, and grade level. You can also filter them according to the parameters provided to narrow down the list. This makes it easier to find scholarships that are best suited to you. Go through the eligibility requirements of the scholarships thoroughly to make sure that you qualify to save time. Some scholarships may be need-based and are awarded on the basis of the financial need of the student, while others may be based on merit.
2. Understand the Application Requirements
It is important to understand what the scholarship demands, for submitting a strong application.
Scholarship applications may require some or all of the following:Scholarship Application Form: Scholarship application is unique for each scholarship and is a must to be considered as an applicant. It usually asks for general information about the applicant like their name, date of birth, education, address, and so on. It may also contain a few short answer questions relevant to the scholarship.Essay: Many scholarships require an essay along with the application form. Applicants can make themselves stand out via their essays. Therefore, you should take proper time and put in good effort when writing one. It’s important that your essay is original, and represents your personality and opinions.Letters of Recommendation: A letter of recommendation can be written by your personal or professional references. Some scholarships specifically demand letters of recommendation from teachers. The letter basically contains reasons for why the applicant is a deserving one. It assesses the applicant’s qualities, characteristics, strengths, capabilities, and academic performance, which kind of acts as a character certificate when applying for scholarships.Grade Transcripts: Many scholarships, whether they are merit-based or need-based, usually require school transcripts that show the academic performance of an individual. You can get a copy through your school’s website or the office and attach it to the application form.Resume: A resume is where an applicant can highlight their skills and accomplishments. It does not have to have work experiences only but can also include mentions of any societies or extra-curricular activities that you have been a part of, and any special courses that you have completed that equipped you with a certain skill.Financial Information: Many need-based scholarships may ask you to provide financial information that may include information about your family income and any financial aid that you may have received.FAFSA: Some scholarships require applicants to apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for them. These are mainly need-based scholarships.Portfolio or Video Submission: There are a few scholarships that ask for video or portfolio submissions. This usually applies to art major scholarships as videos and portfolios are how an applicant can show their skills. Some scholarships do not have other requirements and are like a contest where participants have to make a project and provide a picture or video of it to enter and win.School Verification: A school verification letter verifies which school the candidate is attending or has attended, the dates when they started and finished a program, and also includes a list of any certificates or degrees earned.Standardized Test Scores: Occasionally, you may need to provide a copy of your SAT or ACT test scores. These are standardized test scores that most colleges and universities require for admission.
3. Order Scholarships According to Submission Deadlines:
It is important to arrange the scholarships according to the deadlines to make sure that you do not miss out on any opportunity. Timing is very important and the earlier you apply the better it is. It is always wise to start early too because it may take time to complete all the submission requirements like writing essays and getting letters of recommendation in hand. Time should, especially, be invested in scholarships that require an essay as it takes a lot of time, planning, and effort to write a good one.
Once you have completed your application and the associated requirements, make sure to go through them all thoroughly at least once. You can also get a friend or someone from the family to help you proofread for mistakes and errors.
5. Submit Your Application:
After you have taken your time filling out the application form, writing the essay, collecting all the required documents, and proofreading – it is time to submit. Most applications now require online submissions and may take a few minutes only if you have everything ready to upload. Keep track of the status of your application process and keep in mind that it may take some time to receive an answer. You may put in a follow-up email if you haven’t received any reply for some time.
Tips For ApplyingStart looking early: Don’t wait until the last minute to look for scholarships in Illinois. Many organizations have deadlines that are months before the school year even starts, so it pays to begin your search as soon as possible. Make sure you research, apply, and submit all necessary documents on time in order to maximize your chances of winning scholarships.Network: Many of the scholarship opportunities in Illinois come through networking and contacts, so make sure you take full advantage of your connections. Utilize family members, friends, contacts from any organizations or clubs you are part of, and even faculty members at your school to learn about different scholarship options in the area.Seek out local scholarships: Many organizations in Illinois offer scholarships specifically for local students. Look up businesses and community groups in the area, as they often have scholarship programs available. You can also check with your school’s guidance office or college counseling department to see if they know of any opportunities. You can even check on scholarship websites for scholarships specific to your state or area.Read the requirements carefully: Once you have a narrowed-down list of scholarships, make sure to read the requirements carefully so you fully understand what is required.Do not rush when applying: Take your time and apply early. This allows sufficient time to gather all the required documents and also write a great essay if needed.Brainstorm for an essay and make an outline: If an essay is required, always start with brainstorming, then arrange your ideas and make an outline to follow. Unique, personalized, and lively essays have a better chance at qualifying than general and dull ones. Make sure that you understand the topic before starting.Customize application: Some students submit the same application, essays, and letters of recommendation to all organizations. It is better to thoroughly research the organization and what they are actually looking for before and customize your application and essays accordingly. You can also mention what the organization is looking for to people who are writing your recommendation letters so they can make it more relevant rather than general. However, it is important to be honest and avoid including things just for the sake of qualifying and getting a scholarship.Check and Proofread: You may be surprised at the amount of grammatical mistakes and other errors that you may come across when rereading your application and essays. Those applicants who submit applications full of errors appear irresponsible and undetermined to scholarship providers.