Often, what makes a good scholarship candidate is somewhat subjective. First and foremost, you want to make sure the scholarship that you’re applying for is a good fit for you and your professional goals. Many scholarships are looking for students from certain majors or backgrounds, so you don’t want to waste time applying to something that isn’t the right fit! Below are some tips that can help you identify scholarships that make the most sense for you and your needs.
1. Make an appointment with our office. We can talk with you and help come up with a list of prospective scholarships that fit with your goals.
2. Research the scholarships. You want to know (a.) what the scholarship offers you, (b.) how winning that scholarship would help you further your professional goals, and (c.) the mission of the scholarship. You want to know whether the goals of the scholarship foundation align with your own. For instance, some scholarships will fund students who want to do research careers in medicine, but not students who are interested in practicing clinical medicine. A distinction like this is absolutely something you’d want to keep in mind.
3. Make sure that you’re willing to go through with the process. Check that the deadlines are feasible (it is NOT a good idea to start two weeks out or *gasp* the night before), and that you’re willing to complete all of the required materials. Some scholarships also require you to work with the foundation after winning the award, so again, you want to make sure that that kind of work aligns with your professional goals.
4. Contact faculty members whom you’ve worked closely with and talk with them about your interest in the scholarship. If they’re not familiar with it, you may want to bring some materials with you to educate them. Ask them if they would consider you a good candidate at this time–don’t be discouraged if they say no; it may not be the best fit for you at this moment.
5. Once you’ve narrowed your search down and you’re ready to proceed, contact our office again! This is where we can actually provide the most support. We can help you identify deadlines, keep track of materials, and, if necessary, prepare for any interviews.