Navigating the Scholarship Application Process: Tips and Strategies for Success

student with documents and laptop happy about getting into university
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on


Applicants are often at a disadvantage in the scholarship application process. Scholarship administrators may have access to more information about students than applicants themselves, including transcripts, letters of recommendation and personal essays. However, there are some strategies you can use to increase your chances of success.

Have a plan and know where to start.

  • Have a plan and know where to start.
  • Start by looking at the awards you are eligible for.
  • Look for awards that are relevant to your interests and goals, as well as those that align with the program requirements of your top choice schools.

Set up an Excel spreadsheet.

  • Set up an Excel spreadsheet. You can use this to keep track of deadlines, application requirements and contact information for each scholarship you are applying for. A template will help you organize your information in one place so that it’s easy to find when the time comes.
  • Use Google Drive to share documents with other people who might be helping with your applications–such as teachers or guidance counselors–or even just family members who want updates on the status of their child’s application process!

Create a calendar and stick to it.

  • Create a calendar and stick to it.
  • Use a calendar app that syncs with your phone to keep track of deadlines and other important dates, like when you need to submit your application materials by.
  • Make sure you’re using the right calendar app: some are better suited for keeping track of schoolwork than others (for example, Google Calendar may not be able to handle all of your scholarship deadlines).

Stay organized and make use of tools.

Staying organized is a crucial part of the scholarship application process. The following are some tips for keeping your documents, letters of recommendation and other important materials organized:

  • Use folders to keep all of your applications together. You can also create a folder for each school or organization that has asked for an application from you, so that all relevant documents are kept in one place.
  • Make sure to include a cover letter with each application packet that includes all required information (e-mail address, phone number) and explains why the scholarship would be useful to you as well as any additional skills or qualifications that make up “the whole package.”

Don’t be intimidated by uncommon awards.

  • Don’t be intimidated by uncommon awards.
  • Don’t be afraid to apply for non-traditional awards.
  • Don’t be afraid to apply for awards that require a lot of work.
  • Don’t be afraid to apply for awards that require you to do something you haven’t done before


We hope that our advice will help you navigate the scholarship application process and achieve success. Remember, it’s important not to get overwhelmed by the number of opportunities available or intimidated by uncommon awards. Stay organized and make use of tools like Excel spreadsheets and calendars so you can keep track of deadlines, resources like essay prompts or essays themselves (if they exist), as well as other details such as payment requirements. Also remember that it takes time! You may need more than one year to complete all applications because some require lengthy essays or interviews which take weeks or even months before results are announced.”

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