Take the Mystery out of Scholarship Applications

Take the Mystery out of Scholarship Applications

The folks who give away cash for college see tons of applications each year from scholarship-seekers like you. They decide who gets the money based on the trail of evidence each applicant leaves behind. You want to leave evidence that compels them to stay on your trail. Be encouraged . . . you can learn how to take the mystery out of scholarship opportunities with these simple tips!

Clues That Led to a $3,000 Award

This trail of evidence netted one particular awardee $3,000 in scholarships from a private family foundation. Take a look at what kept investigators glued to the trail.



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Letter requesting information arrives in the mail
  • Businesslike, one page, neat appearance
  • Error-free: proofed for spelling and grammar
  • Brief introduction followed by request for additional information
  • Clear and well-organized student resume included



View a sample request letter.
View a sample student resume.


Completed application packet arrives in the mail
  • Submitted on or before the due date
  • Clean, typewritten copies of completed one-page application form and an optional page explaining the applicant's financial need
  • Accurate, detailed financial information
  • Error-free: proofed for spelling and grammar and proofed again


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Clear story


  • Reader-friendly, easy to find information
  • Clear plans and career goals
  • Clear reason for seeking help
  • Clear account of the applicant taking the initiative to move forward



View a sample "tell us more" statement.


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Face-to-face interview
  • On time
  • Neat appearance and appropriate attire
  • Polite, articulate
  • Left additional information the scholarship people hadn’t seen before (a letter of recommendation and several attached photos of service and volunteer projects mentioned in the applicant's "tell us more" statement)


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A personal thank-you note arrives in the mail
  • Included reference to an enclosed current grade transcript and the promise of sending another when it becomes available at semester's end

View a sample thank-you letter


Updated grade transcripts arrive in the mail
  • Promise kept
  • Demonstrated follow-through and attention to details

Check Out the Financial Aid Calculator Here!

 Making a Career of Following Clues and Solving Mysteries

Elle Shaw-telescope.jpg Elle Shaw '16 embraced scientific discovery throughout her college career. She pursued a double major in physics and mathematics and engaged in hands-on research projects along the way. She worked with advanced instrumentation in Greenville University's labs and also with the  Celestron telescope at its observatory. Still, she adds, "I always tried to find time to connect with friends, even if it was just over a meal or study break . . ." Elle names Hyung Choi, Darrell Iler and George Peters as her favorite professors. She is currently pursuing a PhD in physics.