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Applying for Scholarships and Where to Start

November 27, 2017

By: Sam Stein

It’s hunting season. Scholarships are in their prime and everyone is on the prowl for the best of the best. The more experienced hunter has probably already staked his claim and is waiting for things to play out; for the inexperienced, you might not even know the best places to look. We’ve got you covered. Here is a list to help guide you through the process of scoring scholarships.

Timing - The most important part of applying for scholarships is setting aside some time to actually apply for them. Make sure to make time each week to look through all of the scholarships available and fill out a few applications. This makes the process easier and less stressful.

FAFSA - This is your first opportunity, so hit the ground running. This year FAFSA applications are OPEN OCTOBER 1st so don’t dilly-dally! FAFSA gives you step-by-step instructions on how to apply so this one is pretty easy, just head to the link provided and start filling out your information.

UW and External Scholarships  - Click on the link provided and log into your account; under ‘My Applications’ you can fill out a general application form that brings up scholarships you are most suited for. For SER students, we highly recommend checking out alumni scholarships. A link for external scholarships is located on the left-hand side of the scholarships opportunity page; you’ll be directed to a list of scholarships. If you are selected for one of these scholarships don’t forget to follow the External Donor Scholarship Policy (located on the Scholarship Opportunities page).

Which Scholarships to Apply for - Start off with ones specific to your department. Next, apply to any scholarships that you feel you could be considered for. It doesn’t hurt to apply for any scholarship unless you absolutely don’t fall under its scope.

Essays - Some of the UW and external Scholarships will require you to write a short essay either about yourself or about a certain topic. Don’t sweat it; once you get into the swing of writing quick/short essays it’ll get easier and you can type them out pretty fast (sometimes you can even recycle them).

In the Loop - Know when submission dates are! Just like a homework assignment, you can’t wait forever to do it. Scholarships have deadlines and the sooner you apply the less pressure there is on you to do it. Don’t forget that as the year goes on there will be a slow circulation of scholarships being offered, so keep checking the scholarship opportunities.

Hopefully this list has given you an idea of a good place to start when looking at scholarships. Set aside some time to look through all of the opportunities that are offered and send in your applications. Also, make sure to get your FAFSA’s started and good luck! If you have any helpful tips that you don’t see here, leave a comment and let us know!

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