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Simple Tips for a Stress-Free Scholarship Season

Scholarship Applications

Scholarships can be a great way to finance study abroad, internships, or just general college studies. They’re something that can help dreams come true. However, applying for scholarships can be quite stressful, and it’s often difficult to even know where to start. While these tips obviously can’t answer all of your scholarship questions, they’ll hopefully at least point you in a good direction.

Start early.

When it comes to scholarships, the earlier you start, the better. Make sure you have plenty of time to find the scholarships that best fit you, complete and proofread your applications, and ask for any letters of recommendation. The more time you give yourself, the more polished and competitive your applications are likely to be. While rushing to finish things at the last moment is understandable, anything you type up in a rush is unlikely to be your best work, and you could end up missing the deadline altogether if the website glitches.

Consider all possible sources of scholarships.

Scholarships are available from a wide variety of sources, and while scholarships offered by your university are a great place to start, there is also a whole world of other groups offering scholarships that just might fit you. Below is a brief list of potential scholarships sources to consider, although there are certainly many more.

  • From Your University: (Specific to Your Major/Minor; Study Abroad Awards; Writing/Research Awards)
  • Local Organizations
  • Churches
  • Organizations Your Family Has Been Involved In
  • High School/Past Colleges
  • Past/Current Jobs
  • Parents’/Guardians’ Jobs
  • Specific to Your Identity: (awards designated for people of your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, immigration status, etc.)

scholarship applications

Don’t be scared by scholarships with more requirements.

While scholarships that require multiple essays or videos may seem like a lot of work, that also means that fewer people will be likely to apply for them (and you’ll have a higher chance of winning). Just be sure you fit the scholarship’s criteria before applying. It would be a waste to spend hours applying for a scholarship with requirements you don’t really meet.

Be selective in your recommendation letters.

Find out if any of the scholarships that you are applying for require letters of recommendation (there’s a good chance they do) and start considering who you might want to talk to about writing those letters. Do you have anyone who offered to write you letters in the past? Or people who you know have positive opinions of you and your work? It’s also generally best to talk to more people than you think you will need, and if you end up with more “Yes” answers than necessary, ask the people who seemed most enthusiastic to actually write you letters. This is another place where getting a head start on things comes in handy. While some people may be able to put together a stellar recommendation in just a week, it’s generally best to begin asking for letters at least three weeks in advance, if not more. Once you know who’s going to be writing your letters, provide them with some information about the scholarships you’re applying for so they can write letters that highlight how you’re a good fit for that specific award.

Find ways to make yourself stand out.

Those reading over scholarship applications often see a lot of candidates, so ask yourself what makes you different and be sure to highlight this in your application. Why should they select you instead of any of the other candidates?

Have people you trust look over your application.

Another benefit of finishing your applications earlier is having more time to revise them and ask others for recommendations. Talk to professors, friends, relatives, and other people whose opinions you trust to ask if they can look over your application and give you advice on how to improve it. They may notice errors that you missed or have knowledge about a certain subject that you lack. By getting a variety of opinions, you can take them all into consideration and decide what changes you may want to make to your application.

So start your scholarship search today! There’s money out there just waiting to be awarded. For more tips, tricks, and lists of scholarships, check out the links below.

13 Best Tips for Winning College Scholarships
Let’s Talk Scholarships: Application Tips
Top Ten Tips To Getting A Scholarship
Tips to Avoid 7 Common Scholarship Application Pitfalls
Tips to Get a College Scholarship
12 Essential Scholarship Tips for Students

NWolfNatalie Wolf
Associate Student Representative, High Plains Region, 2019-2020
Alpha Theta Eta Chapter
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS


Sigma Tau Delta Scholarships and Academic Awards

Annually, Sigma Tau Delta offers a variety of scholarship and academic awards valued at up to $6,000 each. Because these scholarship opportunities are offered exclusively to Sigma Tau Delta members, those members who take the time to submit a carefully put-together application obviously have a significantly increased chance of receiving an award and completing the application process is excellent practice for those planning to attend graduate school or apply for a job. Applications are judged based on academics and service, as well as on the quality of writing in essays or statements that are required for the scholarships.

Sigma Tau Delta uses the AwardSpring platform for the application process. Please use the AwardSpring link to apply for the scholarships, academic awards, and internship stipends listed below. Through the application you will be able to submit required materials, and request recommendation letters.

But before you apply, make sure to check out our resources for Tips for Creating a Winning ApplicationFour Things You Need to Know About AwardSpring, and our FAQs.

The spring application period is open March 2 through April 6, 2020, for the following opportunities:

Available Spring Scholarships and Awards:

Junior Scholarships
Senior Scholarships
William C. Johnson Distinguished Scholarship
Continuing Education Scholarship
P.C. Somerville Awards for Future Teachers
Scholarly Paper Awards for Undergraduate Students
Graduate Scholarships
Scholarly Paper Awards for Graduate Students
Study Abroad Scholarship (applies to the 2020 calendar year)
Summer Program Scholarship (applies to summer 2020)

Summer Internship Stipend

Sigma Tau Delta offers funding for current undergraduate and graduate student members accepting non- or low-paying internships. The Internship Stipend is a competitive program providing a limited number of stipends of up to $1,500 each.

The internship must involve working for an “organization” while being directed by a supervisor/mentor within that organization, and the intern’s duties must be consistent with the applicant’s level of education, area of study, and career goals. Financial need will be taken into consideration in addition to internship length. Applicants are responsible for obtaining and providing verification of the internship. Please review the application guidelines for additional information.

LIT Research Grant

Lambda Iota Tau (LIT) Research Grants are designed to support individual members at the undergraduate or graduate level as they complete original research that furthers the goals of the Society. Grant money of up to $1,000, with up to $500 for runners-up, will support travel to and use of archives or collections important to their research. The winning applicants will demonstrate the relevance of the research to English and English-related fields and may also describe the effect on current coursework, future research, or career pursuits. Each applicant will identify goals, propose outcomes, and estimate specific costs for the research travel. Students may not request grant money for research supported by a previous LIT Research Grant. Any members interested in support for summer or study abroad programs would apply for those scholarships rather than for a LIT Research Grant.

More from Footnotes: March 17, 2020

Journal Submissions
Sigma Tau Delta Journal Internship
Service Project: Imagination Library
2020 Convention Cancellation Update

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