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Monday, August 21, 2006

8GREAT Results – Getting Them, Focusing On What To Do And What NOT To Do!

Once your paperwork is done and all the application are in and the results start coming back. Keeping track of all
your feedback is another priority. If you are selected or short-listed you will typically be notified in writing.

Some scholarships will require an interview. It is often referred to as a ‘scholarship or short-list interview’. It is a crucial element in your scholarship application process.

This opportunity of a lifetime to present, sell and position yourself, will give you the chance to convey certain things to the scholarship judges and selection committee, that cannot be conveyed through your written words on paper. Your scholarship application itself can only take and bring you this far.

NOW IT IS UP TO YOU TO engage, create interest, convince and impress. Here you can now supplement any strengths, credentials and achievements, with a good first and lasting impression of yourself.

Avoid anxiety and just be yourself. Ensure that you are selected based on your potential, achievements in terms of leadership qualities and the like.

It is critical that all elements of your process are truthful and accurate. Never feel the need to make things up as you go along, sell half-truths or maybe even give feeble excuses for your GPA or SAT scores. These facts are what they are. Lying about them, certainly will NOT help you in this process. Quite the contrary, you could in effect be jeopardizing your whole future and other prospects by lying on your application or withholding key information.

Recommendation letters and scholarship requirements, selection and eligibility criteria are all good gages of what your chances are to land a certain scholarship. Referral and networking, word of mouth championing and positioning has also been used to great avail in the past by a number of successful applicants. Most of them when asked about the success, ,failure and or lessons learned as they went through the application process reveals that honesty, determination and confidence were the most important things for them during this time on a personal level. Support from family, teachers and peers, some quiet time to think and time to write a good essay about themselves, as well as being organized and systematic in their scholarship searches all contributed to their successful outcomes and stellar results.

A keen eye for and attention to detail, are other key elements you cannot overlook. Confirm and verify, checked if all the blanks have been filled in, the letter “i” dotted and all “t” s crossed!

The real secrets are simple and basic, apply early, get everything you need beforehand, do not wait until the very last minute. Source well, far, wide, deep and explore as many opportunities as possible, as soon as possible, as detailed as possible. Increase your odds. Select from a large list of possible choices of scholarship opportunities and make a focused short-list of those matching your requirements. Get the application packages and apply. Make copies and ensure you keep track of all the deadlines, responses and follow-up.

Remember, the first impression you get to make, whether in person or on paper is normally the best impression. MAKE IF COUNT AND MAKE IT LAST!

It does not matter how many achievements or if you got the highest grade, if you stand out in the hearts, minds and selection of the committee it is what counts. Pick the most appropriate, relevant skills, strengths and qualities or criteria that they might be looking for and that you feel and deem necessary to mention and present it as well as you can in a quality package that sells and positions you head-and-shoulders above the rest. You will be guaranteed

a spot on the short-list at least! Again, no promises, no claims, just self-reliance on the pieces and steps of the process you are responsible for and have control over. The rest is not in your hands. All you can do then is patiently wait.

All your academic and extra-curricular records have some importance and significance. Select the ones that are best suited for the grant you are applying for.

If it feels like it is taking and awful long time and you demand answers and results, remember this process will go through various screening and selection rounds and hands. If you have confirmed that they have received your application and then you have heard nothing back over a period of time, feel free to pro-actively contact to find out if it has been awarded.

Other words of wisdom and valuable advice would be to never be shy or hesitant to ask for help and assistance. This is normal! Openly question and ask for help if you need it. Do not suffer in silence or procrastinate, postpone or avoid this application process because you feel overwhelmed, embarrassed or feel you do not know enough to proceed or where to even start. Ask for positive letters of recommendation with confidence, the worst that can happen is someone say no or write something mediocre that you can opt not to use anyway.

Also, beware of an essay that is too long or that you have not authored yourself. Neither of these will serve your purposes well. It will actually just as easily work against you and disqualify or discredit you.

The student financial aid office at the institution of your choice will have a vast array of information at your disposal. Utilize all resources to get the information, direction, guidelines and application packages that you would need to see this scholarship application and reward process through, start to finish.

In this process all documentation and steps have to be prepared and completed carefully and meticulously to enable others to decide and choose. From your application package, their criteria and processes, the selection committee or relevant individual(s) will determine if you qualify, if all is in order, why you need the scholarship, whether the scholarship
is right for you and whether you are right for the scholarship.

Some Do And Do Not Guidelines for Scholarship Application Processes