Get your documents prepared, brush up on your essay writing and update your autofill settings — November is National Scholarship Month. You’ll want to get your scholarship applications in before you’re nagged at the Thanksgiving dinner table. After all, how are you going to afford your health care career education? Schedule some time for yourself in the weeks to come and get those scholarship applications completed. Below we describe just a few types of scholarships that you’ll find online.
Scholarships with an application and essay
Applications with essays require more effort on your part to complete. First, you have to research, even if it’s a personal essay. See if there are available examples of past winners to determine if there’s a particular structure that the judges reward. Next is the hardest part: actually putting the words on paper. To begin, write everything you’re thinking down. Removing the self-doubt and criticism will help you get your ideas collected. Remember, you have to go back and edit regardless of how genius you think your first draft is. Before you submit, be sure to do the following:
- Read it out loud to see if it reads naturally.
- Have a friend or parent review the essay.
- Make sure you are following the expectations and limits provided by the scholarship organization.
Need more advice? Read some tips about writing a personal statement here.
Scholarships that require sending documents
Certain scholarships need as much documentation as possible. These scholarship applications can take the longest to complete, as you may have to request paperwork that takes weeks to receive in the mail. After everything is in order, it could then take days for your materials to arrive at the scholarship organization. Determine the amount of time you need and get those documents in before the deadline. Here are some examples of what you may have to provide:
- Standardized test scores
- Letter(s) of recommendation
- Official transcripts
Why might you need to collect all this documentation? If you come from an underrepresented community, you’ll have to provide proof of your background. Or perhaps you may need to have a certain GPA to qualify for the award. Make sure to read the fine print!
Scholarships that require “clicking and entering”
Applying for this type of scholarship is as easy as entering your name, school and email. It takes a few minutes to fill out and you’ll feel accomplished after you get an application in. The catch is, it’s so easy to apply that you’ll be one of hundreds, if not thousands, of students trying to win the scholarship. Since the chances of actually winning these types of scholarships are slim, be careful not to only apply for them.
Take the opportunity to complete all of these scholarship options. A rainy weekend in your sweats can be used to binge a Netflix show or to complete a scholarship application — choose the option that saves you money. If you’re ready to start your scholarship search, use our scholarship search tool.