It’s time to apply for scholarships for the 2015-2016 school year! With many application deadlines approaching, pay attention to these five easy tips to help you stand out from the crowd, and get that money.

1. Make sure you fit the criteria.

That might sound simple however many students don’t follow this advice. This is very important to be successful. Check the criteria first, including GPA requirements, major, etc. Nobody wants to be put in the “do not qualify” pile because you don’t fit the criteria. We maintain a list of scholarships with key criteria listed.

2. Presentation matters.

Make sure your application is well put together, and without grammatical errors. Have someone proof read it. It’s very easy to overlook something especially when you have been working hard on the application for hours. A fresh pair of eyes is always helpful and will often pick up something you missed. See common mistakes to avoid in writing.

3. Write a killer essay.

First read and then re-read the essay statement. Identify the key themes then follow the guidelines. Think about grabbing the reader’s attention by telling a story related to the essay statement. Here’s more advice on writing a killer essay.

4. Go the extra mile.

If an application allows you to submit a miscellaneous document, think about attaching your professional resume. Never leave the optional part empty.

5. Have recommendations reflect the rock star that you are.

Having a strong recommendation letter could be the deciding factor between two common applicants. When choosing someone to write you a recommendation letter make sure they are passionate about your success. Furthermore, prepare them to write a good recommendation. Send them your resume or give them a brief description of what you are involved in. This equips them with the information they need to write an excellent recommendation letter for you.

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