Want to know how to apply for scholarships? There isn’t one set way of going about it but there are certain rules and instructions to follow. Every scholarship fund has its own processes and requirements, but in general you will need to provide information about yourself, present yourself in a way that makes a good impression, and show why you are deserving of the scholarship.

Follow these steps if you want to be successful through your scholarship applications – Know the right documents and procedures..

 

1. Know what’s on offer

Get to know the full range of scholarships available to you so you don’t miss out on anything. Sometimes competition for scholarships is very strong. You can increase your chances of receiving one by applying for as many as you qualify for.

2. Make sure you qualify

Many scholarships are designed especially for people who:
-are a specific gender, age, or ethnicity
-belong to a particular indigenous or other special group
-have achieved academic or sporting excellence
-intend to study in a certain field or at a certain level.

Read through the scholarship information carefully to make sure you meet the criteria. Always make a list of the scholarships you are qualified to apply for.

3. Gather your information

To apply for a scholarship, you will most likely need to fill out forms and supply documents to support your application. You may also be asked to attend an interview with the selection panel. Some things you may be asked to provide with your application are:
-proof of citizenship or residency status (eg birth certificate, passport)
-evidence of community involvement, financial hardship or ethnic background
-letter of approval from your school
-list of referees
-record of learning
-bank details, IRD number.

You need to collect, make copies of, and certify all the necessary documents. To certify your documents, take the original and a photocopy to an authorised person. They will check both documents and sign the copy to show it is a true reproduction of the original.

An authorised person could be a teacher, minister of religion, registered medical professional, solicitor. This may depend on the individual scholarship, so it is best to check.

4. Keep your scholarship information organised

All of this can take time, but your scholarship will be worth the effort! To help you keep track of things, put together a simple list of:
-all the scholarships you want to apply for
-when each one is due
-the supporting documents you need to provide for each one
-how and when you will get these documents.

5. Make a good impression

Remember that you are trying to prove you are worthy of financial support. The selection panel needs to see that you have something special to offer. This is why it’s important to make a good first impression with the presentation of your application.

A sloppy, late or incomplete application might cause the selection panel to think that the scholarship is not important to you. Try to do everything you can to show that you are deserving of the award.

Be tidy – type or write neatly. Check your spelling. Attach documents in the order they are requested. Don’t bind or staple, but paperclip your papers together so they are easy to detach and read.
Be thorough – make sure you have provided everything that is asked for. If you can, find out about the organisation that is awarding the scholarship and try to tailor your application according to their vision and goals.
Be timely – submit your application well before or by the closing date. The selection panel receives many applications and can often be ruthless in the elimination process. They will be looking for any reason to reject an application, and lateness may be one of the very first criteria.

Sample scholarship application form – get an idea of what you’ll need to fill in (PDF – 295KB)

6. Do a final check

Check and recheck. Use this checklist to make sure you are ready to submit your application:
Fill in the application forms carefully.
-Check for spelling mistakes.
-Provide all the necessary supporting documents.
-Get copies of documents certified.
-Meet the closing date.
-Make copies of every application sent.
-Provide current contact details.
-Get someone to check over your application – they might pick up something you’ve missed.

Follow these instructions above and you’ll surely take steps closer to landing a scholarship when you apply for one.