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Application Essentials

Student Studying on the QuadHere are some tips for conducting your scholarship campaign in a professional manner.

  1. Applying for competitive scholarships is demanding and time consuming. Prepare yourself to revise your project, to write multiple drafts, and to persevere.
  2. Start your search early to find your targets early. Know the deadlines and plan accordingly. Put them on your calendar. Obtain the application right away.
  3. Respect the deadline. Respect the eligibility parameters. Don't waste the time of yourself and others by applying late or applying for awards for which you don't qualify.
  4. Ask your references with plenty of time to spare. They are busy and will write better letters if they have sufficient time, and if they know that you respect their time.
  5. Supply your references with all of the information they need to write effectively.
  6. Read your application materials carefully. Would you award an individual who could not follow directions? Create a checklist. See if you are covering everything that needs to be done. Check it twice and then check it again!
  7. Pay attention to the deadlines. Is the deadline the postmark date or the receipt date? Is this going overseas? Better give it even more time! If you are using Fed Ex or a similar service, be sure to follow the tracking information provided to you.
  8. Order transcripts far ahead. Loyola's records office only honors transcript request sent from a address. G-mail and such like is not honored for security reasons.
  9. More and more applications are only handled online. Pay attention to the instructions on saving and printing your application. Write down  and file securely any ID numbers, passwords, and other coding information given to you.
  10. If your recommenders are supposed to file online using a third party service, be sure to tell them this in advance. Fulbright, for example, uses a service called Embark. Make it very clear to your recommender who will be contacting them. Otherwise, the email from the application service to your recommender may be ignored, overlooked, or deleted.
  11. Proofread, proofread, proofread! Be award that some online applications don't recognize or will mangle quotation marks ("   ") and other special characters. Avoid them or follow the directions given to you for alternative markings.
  12. Be aware that many countries in Europe go on extended vacations over the summer, that many countries in Africa, Asia, and South America have limited or spotty email and Internet services. Follow up with everybody you correspond with.

Contact Us

Terre Ryan, M.B.A., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Writing
Director of National Fellowships
Maryland Hall 043J

Loyola University Maryland National Fellowships Office