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Scholarship Resources

Tips for organizing your scholarships search, writing effective essays, and interviewing. 

Local Scholarship Search

College is expensive and the costs are increasing every year. That is why it's so important for you to find as much free money as you can. DCCU is pleased to provide you with a listing of local scholarship opportunities, listed below. Before you apply, here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  1. Do I qualify? 
  2. When is the deadline? 
  3. What are the requirements? 

As you begin your search for scholarships, another important thing for you to do is visit with your high school counseling department to learn about other opportunities. Remember, the more free money you find for college, the less money you will have to pay back after you graduate. 

Organize your Scholarship Search

Before you start your search for scholarships, it is important to have a system in place to help keep it all organized. Use the following steps to help guide you through the process:

  1. List the scholarships you've already found and for which you're likely to be eligible. Include the name of the sponsoring organization.
  2. Enter the website addresses or contact information for these scholarship opportunities so you can refer back to eligibility criteria and application requirements, such as letters of recommendation, essays, and transcripts.
  3. Find the deadlines for the scholarships you will be applying for and then put the deadlines into the calendar on your Smartphone or tablet so you don't miss it. NOTE: Don't set a reminder for the day the application is due. Set a reminder for two to three weeks in advance of the application deadline so that you have enough time to complete the paperwork and gather all required information.
  4. Note whether the application must be mailed, or if it can be e-mailed or submitted through an online form. If the application must be mailed, build extra time into your application schedule for mailing.
  5. Now that you have an organization system, keep looking for additional scholarship opportunities and return to Step 1.

Tips for Writing Effective Scholarship Essays

Writing an essay that captivates the reader can have a big influence on whether or not you win the scholarship. The following tips will help you write the best essay possible.

1. Make sure you understand the instructions before you start writing.
2. Organize your thoughts before you start writing.
3. Create an outline.
4. Don’t skip questions. If one doesn’t apply, put N/A.
5. Make sure your outline touches on every requirement in the instructions.
6. Write your essay by explaining each of the points in your outline.
7. Use clear language and be to the point. Try not to ramble.
8. State your accomplishments without exaggerating.
9. Site sources when necessary and be sure they are credible.
10. Make sure your grammar and spelling are correct.
11. Read the questions and essay again to be certain the essay covers all requirements.
12. Have someone with strong writing and editing skills proofread the essay before you submit it.
13. If using the same essay for multiple scholarships, be sure to adjust necessary information.
14. Most of all, BE CREATIVE!

male student excited while reviewing papers

Common Scholarship Interview Questions

Some scholarship programs require you to go through an interview process. Below are some common scholarship interview questions. Prior to your interview, practice what you plan to say, so you can give the best answers possible.

1. Why did you apply for this scholarship?
2. What makes you stand out from other candidates?
3. What contributions would you like to make to your community?
4. Talk about your academic achievements.
5. Tell us about yourself.
6. Tell us about your current educational and career goals.
7. Where do you see yourself in five years?
8. How do you spend your free time outside of class?
9. Tell me about a personal achievement that makes you proud?
10. Tell me about a mistake you made and what you learned from it?
11. Who has influenced your life most and why?
12. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
13. Why do you think you’re an excellent candidate for this scholarship?

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