Scholarship Tip: Get to know the scholarship provider

Scholarship Tip - Get to know the scholarship provider | JLV College Counseling BlogThe people we choose to have in our lives typically have similarities to us. Friends usually have common interests and like many of the same things. Scholarship providers are also looking for people who have similarities with the organization. Scholarship providers, whether it is a non-profit organization or a very profitable company, have values and things that are important to them. Many scholarship providers will be looking for students who share the same values the organization holds. This is why it is very important to get to know the scholarship provider before submitting your application.

What is the scholarship provider looking for?
Carefully read the scholarship page or announcement to understand what the committee wants from an applicant. Some scholarship providers make it very clear what is important to them on their scholarship pages. It is easy to spot what is important to them when they have a specific essay prompt, such as asking for your thoughts on a specific topic. If you choose to apply for the scholarship, get to know the topic very well so that you can write intelligently about the topic while still sounding authentic.

What is important to the scholarship provider?
Get to know the organization or company and what is important to them. This will be especially important when the scholarship provider asks applicants to answer a very general question, such as, “why do you deserve the scholarship?” Read through their “about” section to learn about what they value. If the leaders have biography sections, learn about the leaders. As you read through the website of the scholarship provider, you will probably find key words mentioned multiple times. These words are a good indicator about what is important to the scholarship committee and what they may be looking for in an applicant.

Learn about previous winners.
Not every scholarship provider does this, but some will share information about previous scholarship winners. Sometimes they will give a biography about the person, as well as their winning scholarship essay. This is the winner of the scholarship that the scholarship committee chose to win. This person had what the scholarship committee was looking for and was able to beat out many other students. Therefore, read through the winners’ essays to see if you can spot similarities. If there are similarities, that might be exactly what the committee is looking for when awarding the scholarship.

While it is important to get to know the scholarship provider and what is important to them, students should not be fake as they are applying to scholarships. Keep these three things in mind:

  1. Sometimes fake enthusiasm is easy to spot.
  2. It is hard to be passionate about something you don’t care all that much about.
  3. Writing an essay about something you really like, enjoy, or care about will be a lot easier. Plus, your enthusiasm for the subject will be easy to spot when scholarship committees are reading your essays.

Scholarship providers do not need to provide scholarships. However, they do it because they want to make an investment in their scholarship winners. This is why it is important to share common passions and ideas with scholarship providers. It is also important to be authentic as you apply to scholarships. Therefore, choose your scholarships wisely and apply to the scholarships that will allow you to show your passion and authenticity.

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