Friday, June 3, 2022

At YNCU, we know thinking about starting post-secondary education is stressful, especially when thinking about how you’re going to pay for it. The Ontario Credit Union Foundation is providing funding for Ontarians looking to focus their studies in academic, vocational, or technical at an accredited post-secondary institution in Canada or abroad. CU Succeed Youth Bursary applications are NOW OPEN, you can apply here!

Applying for a scholarship is a smart way to reduce and stay out of student debt! Here are some tips on how to make your scholarship application stand out:

Know The Criteria

Before you begin your scholarship application, ensure you know the type of scholarship you are applying for. There are usually two types of scholarships:

Need-based scholarships: This type is awarded based on financial need. Grades and test scores are also considered but it is mainly based on your family income.

Merit scholarships: This type is awarded based on accomplishments in academic excellence, community involvement, leadership, extracurricular activities, or other factors.

For both of these types of scholarships, it is important to include all necessary documentation in the application. Read the directions carefully – they will tell you what you need to know. Note the deadlines, requirements, application demands, and any fine print. This information will help you stay on track to shine in your application. It is critical to submit by the proper day with all the items needed – this is the first step in making sure your application gets noticed.

Request Letters of Recommendation Early

The sooner you ask for your letters of recommendation, the more time you give your references to write your raving review. This way, you also have time to ensure it fits with your applications.

You may have general letters of recommendations for previous jobs, but this letter needs to be application specific. The people recommending you should write with your award requirements in mind.

Pay Attention to Detail

Once you finish your application, proofread everything. Ensuring your application is free of spelling and grammatical errors will help you look more professional. Read it out loud to hear how it sounds and have someone else read it over as well. Schools receive thousands of applications, and these small steps make a big difference in scholarship applications – so it’s important to pay attention to every detail.

Find Out What Makes You Unique

Scholarship applications are just about the academic requirements. Figure out what makes you unique so you stand out in the sea of other applicants. Why are you applying? What are you particularly good at? What inspires you? What are you passionate about? What do you do that not many other people do?

Don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends for help on what they think makes you unique.

Showcasing who you are allows schools to see your interests outside of academics. A well rounded student who has experiences outside of the classroom is ahead of the game. Many applications will ask you to write an essay, this is where you can really highlight your personality. Ensure you are answering the questions directly but add in your own personality and experiences. Your experiences have shaped who you are and organizations offering scholarships want to see that.

Know Your Audience

Knowing the criteria of the applications is important, but it’s also important to know who your application is going to. Doing research on the values and mission of who is offering the scholarship can help to make your application stand out further. By knowing your audience, you can highlight your interests that align with the organization and communicate more efficiently and effectively.

Writing an application that stands out will help set you up for not only academic success but financial success as well.

For all your general financial inquiries, visit your closest YNCU branch and talk with one of our advisors.