So, you’ve found an awesome college scholarship and you can’t wait to apply!
Have you ever had the feeling where you are so excited to have discovered an amazing scholarship opportunity that you’re a perfect candidate for, but then you got bogged down by the long list of accompanying documents to include?
During your search, you may have noticed that many merit-based scholarships (ones that are based on academic achievement or other talents) cannot be considered “done” by simply filling out the application. It’s true that any application that is not 100% complete will be passed over, but what if you could make the application process more efficient?
Here at Scholarships.com, we comb through hundreds of scholarships on a daily basis, and although each program’s requirements vary greatly, we want to help you make the application process easier by recommending you keep these commonly requested documents on hand.
Start by creating a folder with a label like “Scholarships Docs” and begin collecting these five documents. As you find them, drop them in your folder so that you can have them all in one place to make your next scholarship application process (hopefully) less overwhelming.
GPA and Test Scores. Although most scholarship programs want to get to know you through other avenues like your essay or an interview, many of them also have a minimum GPA and standardized test scores set in place to be eligible. Your academic achievement is often showcased by your SAT/ACT scores and unweighted GPA. Although these numbers don’t paint the whole picture of your academic abilities, they are a tool used by the scholarship committee in selecting the most highly qualified candidates. So, go ahead and upload your current GPA (found on your most recent report card) along with your test scores, and drop them into that folder!
Letters of Recommendation. Do you have a certain teacher, administrator or coach that you have built a solid relationship with, who can vouch for your overall character? Teachers tend to get inundated with requests as application deadlines get closer, so be sure to request your letter of recommendation sooner than later.
Extracurricular Activities Log. Let your involvement in clubs or sports outside the school day tell the story of who you are beyond academics. Are you artistic? Love animals? Interested in robotics or the environment? Whatever activities you are involved in, be sure to highlight them in your application.
Community Service Log. How do you give back to your community? Engagement with your community is very important for scholarship applications across the board. If you haven’t begun volunteering, now is the perfect time to start. To find out how to choose the best-fit volunteering opportunities, check out our blog post here.
FAFSA. Many college scholarship programs require students to have their FAFSA on file so that they can provide you funding for college that isn’t already covered by federal student aid.