Tips for How to Apply for Scholarship
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There's no single, comprehensive source that can list for you all of
the scholarships you're eligible for. So we recommend that you treat
this like a research project, and consult several sources.
Scholarship books may be general references, or more targeted
("Scholarships for Women," or "Scholarships for Engineers," for
example). Whenever you pick up a scholarship book, the first thing to do
is look at how it's organized, so that you.ll be able to focus your
search. Most books of scholarship listings will have several indexes
(sorting scholarship listings by academic discipline, geographic
location, or sponsoring organization).
We recommend that you try a few different databases, since none of them
is comprehensive. (Examples are the SRN database hosted in the SRC
office—see our workshop listing for our current schedule—and the list of
outside free databases on our webpage, Free Scholarship Search
Services.) You'll give the database information about yourself
(background, career goals, academic interests, hobbies, etc), and it
will find scholarship matches based on your profile. Since many of the
sites will send you e-mail updates, it's a good idea to set up a
separate e-mail account just to handle your scholarship information.
Ask Academic Departments
Many departments at UCLA offer scholarships for their
undergraduates.always check for listings on department bulletin boards,
and ask in the departmental office. Also, departmental counselors might
receive information from scholarship agencies—Many departments at UCLA
offer scholarships for their undergraduates.always check for listings on
department bulletin boards, and ask in the departmental office. Also,
departmental counselors might receive information from scholarship
In addition to the free searchable databases of scholarship information,
you can find a wealth of information online. The key is focusing your
search, so that you won't be frustrated by the terrifying amount of
information, and so that you can avoid disreputable sites and scams.
Take note of your interests, hobbies, ethnic/religious background,
affiliations, etc. There are scholarships based on many, many
characteristics that have nothing to do with grades or financial need.
» Identifying Scholarships to Apply For
Read carefully through all of the eligibility requirements for each
award, and make sure you meet every requirement.
You should also decide which scholarships are most worth your time to
apply for—you will probably be eligible for many programs, and you might
not have time to apply for all of them.
Don't limit yourself just to large scholarships—keep in mind that
smaller scholarships add up, and each scholarship that you win gives you
another honor to list on future applications making you attractive to
scholarship committees. Often, smaller scholarships will have fewer
applicants increasing your chances of winning.
» Obtaining Applications
Many scholarship programs will post their application materials on their
websites—some may use an entirely online application form. If the
application is not available online, write to the scholarship agency to
request a copy of the application; include a self-addressed stamped
» Gathering Application Materials
Take note of what materials the application requires, and allow yourself
plenty of time to gather everything.
Most scholarship applications will include an official form where you
will list your personal information. If the form can't be filled out on
your computer, we recommend using a typewriter to complete it. It's
always best to make your application look as professional as possible.
We have a typewriter in the SRC which is available by appointment. Call
us at (310)206-2875.
Many applications require a personal statement or statement of purpose;
some require a longer essay. Pay close attention to what the application
is asking you to write about (career/academic goals? Formative
You may be able to reuse essays (or parts of essays) for multiple
applications.but remember to tailor your essay for the specific
scholarship you're applying for. Make sure to highlight the most
pertinent aspects of yourself or your project. Try to make your essay
unique and memorable—this is your chance to show the scholarship
committee something about yourself. Always remember to proofread for
typos and grammatical errors.
Show your work to peers, teachers, and SRC staff for feedback. For a
writing appointment, contact the SRC at (310)206-2875 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. We also offer workshops each quarter on writing
Letters of Recommendation
Many students are anxious about getting letters of recommendation, since
so many classes at UCLA are large (with most of the instructor-student
contact coming from graduate students). Try to get to know your
professors/instructors by attending office hours. Sometimes it is
possible to get a letter from a Teaching Assistant, or to ask your
Teaching Assistant to work with your professor in writing your letter.
Depending on the scholarship, it is sometimes also possible to have a
non-academic reference as well (from an employer or community leader,
It is important to have strong letters from people who know you and know
Here are some tips to help you request strong letters that will support
your application well:
Ask your potential recommender directly, "Would it be possible for you
to write a strong letter of recommendation on my behalf?"
Give your recommender(s) plenty of time to complete the letter(s).
Remind your recommender(s) as the deadline approached and collect the
letter(s) yourself: Do not assume that once you have asked for the
letter and received an affirmative response from your recommender, the
letter has been sent—follow up!
Provide your recommender with the following materials so that he/she can
write the most concrete and wonderful things about you: a) the
scholarship application information (a summary in your own words is
often best because the recommender might not have the time to read
carefully through the entire application packet); b) the most recent
version of your resume/CV; c) the most recent versions of the essays,
statements, project proposals, and other writing samples required for
the application; d) a short paragraph reminding the recommender of what
you have accomplished lately, as well as a short paragraph about what
you would like the recommender to highlight in his/her letter. The more
information the recommender has about you and the scholarship you are
seeking, the better your letter will be.
Meet with your recommender in person when you give him/her the above
material in case he/she has questions about the letter.
Always remember to send a thank you note!
Read the application requirements carefully and determine whether you
need an official transcript, or whether an unofficial transcript or DPR
will be sufficient. Official and unofficial transcripts can be ordered
at the registrar's office in Murphy Hall. Ordering information is
available online at http://www.registrar.ucla.edu/faq/transcript.htm.
Remember to allow enough time to receive your transcripts—processing
takes at least 3 days (not counting mailing time).
» Staying Organized
Especially if you're applying for more than one scholarship, it is
important to keep yourself organized. Keep a record of what you've done
for each application.when you asked for your letters of recommendation,
when you submitted your transcript request, etc.
If you use online database searches like fastweb.com or
brokescholar.com, we recommend setting up a separate e-mail account just
to handle your scholarship e-mails.
» Completing and Submitting Your Application
Proofread your entire application to make sure you haven't made any
Be sure to meet all deadlines—check to be sure whether the deadline
printed on the application is for postmark or receipt of the
application. Mail your application at least three days in advance of the
postmark date. If the application must be received by a particular date,
allow at least a week.