The Scholarship Marathon: Tips to Help You Prepare Your Scholarship Applications

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As The Scholarship Marathon draws nearer, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you prep your scholarship applications before the big event. These great tips will give you the momentum you need for a running start. Remember, the Marathon is a free online event and runs all day on Saturday, March 22nd from 9am-9pm CST. If you haven’t registered yet, get started online at this link!

Update Your Cappex Profile 
After registering for the Scholarship Marathon, make sure to update or complete your Cappex profile. Cappex features unique scholarship matching capabilities and you’ll want to dedicate 15-20 minutes to completing your student profile accurately because we use this information to provide you with scholarship matches that are your best fits. Have important academic information on hand, such as your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, and make a list of all the extracurricular and volunteer activities you are and have been involved in.

Organize & Build your Scholarship List 
Review your Scholarship List to determine which scholarships you will apply for during the marathon. You have the option to give each scholarship a status, such as “Will Apply,” or “Applied.” Use the Effort and Competition ratings to help you prioritize your matches and application process. Most likely, you’ll have a better chance of winning scholarships that have lower competition ratings. You can also get an early start on any scholarships that require more effort than usual. To expand your scholarships beyond your initial list of matches, click “Get More Matches Now” at the bottom of the page to indicate any options that you or your family members are affiliated including with organizations, employers, religions, ethnic heritages, disabilities, sports, and other qualifications.

Prepare your Essays
After you’ve starting building the list of scholarships you plan to apply for, go through each one to determine the amount of essays or personal statements you’ll need to write. Read through the scholarship application directions and essay prompts carefully and begin drafting outlines for each essay. For extra advice, check out our resource page on how to make your scholarship application stand out. On the day of the marathon we’ll have essay writing experts on hand to assist you with any questions you may have.

Ask for Letters of Recommendation and Nominations
For many scholarship applications, you might need to request letters of recommendation. It’s important that you choose someone who knows you well enough to provide positive examples of your academic performance, work ethic, and character. You may want to consider asking teachers or extracurricular leaders who are familiar with your abilities, such as your coach, guidance counselor, college advisor, community service leader, or boss. Once you’ve generated a list of adults you’d like to ask, reach out as early as possible. If they agree to write a letter for you, be sure to tell them the scholarship deadline and also make sure they understand how and where the letter needs to be delivered. After submitting your scholarship applications, don’t forget to express your gratitude by writing a thank-you note to each person who recommended you.

Check back on the College Insider next week – we’ll be publishing scholarship lists for high school and college students leading up to the Scholarship Marathon on March 22nd! 


Original Post Date: March 14th, 2014

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