Tips to Apply
Keep Information Updated
When writing your general application, it is important that the information you include reflects who you are currently. Making sure your current employment, academic, and volunteer history is listed is key! Donors are interested in what you are currently doing to further your education and grow professionally.
- Highlight the activities that you think are the most applicable to the questions the scholarship application is having you answer. Avoid listing all accomplishments/experiences.
- Avoid paragraphs as much as possible. However, if you participate in a program or activity that is not commonly known, briefly describe the activity.
- Do not list the same activity in multiple sections.
The most powerful way to show commitment to a cause or responsibility is to quantify the hours, months, days or years that you have committed your time to better the cause or uphold the responsibility. Use time or number references to quantify these activities.
Awarders often see themselves as investors in a student’s future and love to reward students who show initiative. Whether it’s starting your own business, creating a new campus club, developing new ways to approach old topics, or organizing events, or crafting educational presentations, donors like to see students who are thinking and acting outside of the box.
Review for Errors
An error-free application demonstrates that you put substantial time and energy into your submission. Utilize the UCCS Writing Center or even friends and family to check your application.
- Focus on the question or topic requested
- Be creative, organized and succinct
- Show who you are and how you think
- Write what you know
- Get feedback on drafts from a trusted mentor
- Keep to the word limits
- Use your own voice
- Proofread, edit, spell and grammar check
- Slang, jargon, clichés or excessively elaborate prose
- Writing too little or too much
- Redundant sentences and phrases
- Comparing yourself to other students
- Submitting the same essay for multiple applications
Use Campus Resources
Here are some on-campus resources to help you write your application:
- Scholarship info through UCCS: https://finaid.uccs.edu/types-of-aid/scholarships
- Utilize the UCCS Writing Center for essay proof-reading: Writing Center (uccs.edu)
- Tips for Getting Letters of Recommendation: Professional School Application – Letters of Recommendation: Academic Advising-Humanities & Education (uccs.edu)
- Scholarships through M.O.S.A.I.C: UCCS Scholarships | MOSAIC
Getting Good Recommendations
You will want a recommendation that will complement the background information and essay you are submitting in your application. The best recommendation letters come from someone who can speak to your accomplishments beyond just the facts. Someone—other than a parent—with whom you have established a connection and who can provide a personal story or anecdote about you that adds insight to your unique qualities.
Here are key strategies to help get a great recommendation letter:
- Provide information about you and the scholarship. The recommender will need and appreciate information about your academic activities, community service, employment, sample school work if applicable, and a description of the scholarship.
- Allow sufficient time. Give the recommender at least three weeks’ notice.
- Help with the logistics. Provide email addresses, fax numbers, or a stamped and addressed envelope to ensure the recommendation is delivered.
- Finally, keep the person updated on the status of the application and show your gratitude with a thank you letter.
Beware of Scholarship & Financial Aid Scams
Scams happen every day; over the phone via telemarketers, as scholarship offers in mail and email, and on numerous websites. When you are searching and applying for scholarships, be cautious of any company or organization that charges a fee for its services. Applying for legitimate scholarships and financial aid is free.
Never Pay for Scholarships
- Avoid any scholarship that asks for application fees, search fees, or processing fees.
- Do not pay taxes or fees to the organization after receiving a scholarship.
- Avoid services that “guarantee aid.” The aid you are offered is usually much lower than the fee you pay for the service.
- Never give out financial information like bank or credit card account numbers unless you know the organization you’re giving it to is reputable.
Never Pay for the FAFSA
Some companies will charge a fee to help you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Remember that the FAFSA is free. If you are completing the FAFSA on a website that asks for credit card information, you are not on the official government site. The official website is fafsa.ed.gov. To prevent identity theft, never give your FSA ID, which serves as your electronic signature, to anyone.