How Do I Apply for Scholarships?

Many organizations offer their scholarship application either online or in the form of a .PDF document that you can download, print, and mail.


Other organizations require that you request an application. To do this you simply need to type and send a professional request for their application materials.


Make sure your letter is brief and professional. Also, don't forget to enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE).


Here is an example of an application request:


   (Enter Date)


   (Enter Scholarship Organization)

   (Enter Organization Address)


   To Whom It May Concern:


   I am interested in receiving an application for the scholarship(s) you offer.


   Please feel free to use the self-addressed, stamped envelope I have enclosed.




   (Sign Your Name)


   (Enter Your Name)

   (Enter Your Address)

   (Enter Your Phone Number)

   (Enter Your Email Address)




Writing Your Essay


In addition to background materials such as transcripts and references, scholarship applications often require a written essay. The essay gives you a chance to demonstrate who you are, what your challenges have been in the past, and what your goals are for the future.


It is vital that your application essay is well thought-out, easy to read, and contains ZERO mistakes. Have your parents or a teacher read your essay. Read your essay out loud. Spelling, sentence structure, and your ability to express yourself will set you apart from other scholarship candidates. 


Different organizations will have their own essay questions and requirements. You may be asked to write on a specific topic, come up a topic of your own, or provide a personal statement to introduce yourself to the scholarship committee.


The following essay is provided as only an example only.



Example Essay Topic:


Describe a childhood event that shaped your future goals.



Example Essay:


The summers I spent fishing with my grandfather are among my fondest childhood memories. He owned a small cabin that sat on several acres in the Sierra Mountains. Nearly every summer, my parents would allow me to spend several weeks at the cabin.


Every morning we would get up before the sun, launch my grandfather's old aluminum fishing boat, and motor out to the middle of Skycrest Lake. As the sun rose above the surrounding pines, a fine mist would rise from the water and the dark depths of the lake would slowly become crystal-clear. Even at its deepest points, you could clearly see all the way to the bottom. The lake made for wonderful summer memories.


Everything changed for my grandfather and me during the summer of my eleventh year. One cold morning, we noticed several fish floating at the surface of the lake. The next day we saw seven more dead fish. Concerned, my grandfather took several of the fish to the Fish and Game Department field office, located several miles from the cabin.


We were told that the fish might have been killed a chemical pollutant and would need to be sent to a laboratory for testing. As we drove home that day, my grandfather told me that we wouldn't be able to fish until we received the lab results. I was disappointed, but just as importantly, I was concerned that there might be something terribly wrong with Skycrest Lake.


A week later, the California Fish and Game Department called us with the lab results. The fish had died from mercury poisoning. The state officials also found the source of the mercury. We discovered that several months earlier, two local men were arrested for illegally using mercury in a gold panning operation. They had been working upstream in a creek that fed Skycrest Lake. The mercury had been used to separate gold nuggets from the rocks and soil panned from the creek bottom.


Then came the worst of the news. We were told that Skycrest Lake would no longer be safe for fishing. When my grandfather asked when it would be safe again, the official said that he honestly didn't know.


I was heart-broken. It seemed that a very special place had been ruined by a careless and greedy act. However, it was also the summer that I realized the importance of environmental protection. Even back then, I thought there must be a way to reverse the poisoning of Skycrest Lake. I didn't realize it then, but that summer would lead me to pursue the field of environmental science.


Now, as I enter college and prepare to meet the challenges of a degree in biology, I often think back to that summer with my grandfather. It was the summer I learned not to take our natural surroundings for granted. It was also the summer I decided to dedicate my life toward making the world a healthier place for all living species. And while that summer holds sad memories, I am grateful for the lessons it taught me.



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