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Not for procrastinators

November 16, 2004

Budd Moore, guidance counselor at South Hagerstown High School, offered the following tips for applying for college scholarships:

· Read the entire scholarship application before starting to fill it out. Make sure you are eligible for the scholarship and that you have all of the materials required.

· Ask for plenty of transcripts from your counseling center office. Almost every college application and scholarship application requires an official transcript.

· Ask for reference letters in the fall so that people have plenty of time to write good letters. Requesting reference letters on short notice will not produce the glowing recommendations that you and the scholarship committees desire. Also, make sure to ask a wide variety of individuals for references and get plenty of original copies of the letter. Include any honors and awards you have received.

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· Turn in the scholarship applications on time. If you miss a deadline, you will not be considered for the scholarship.

· Make a schedule or list of due dates for scholarships. Use a planner and make a file folder system so you know what is due when. Major due dates tend to be the first and 15th days of January, February, March or April.

· Follow directions on scholarship applications exactly as described. Not following directions will often disqualify you from consideration.

· Make a photocopy of a blank application so that you can have an extra in case you make a mistake and must start over. Try not to use white-out on an application because appearance also is taken into consideration.

· Type your applications, or write as neatly as you can in blue or black ink.

· After you have completed an application, make a copy for your files. Often, similar questions are on different scholarship applications, and you can reference forms you already have filled out.

· Contact your college financial aid office as soon as possible to inquire about scholarships specific to your school, and get the appropriate forms to apply. Don't assume that you are automatically made aware of all scholarship money that a school has to offer just through the admissions process.

· Once scholarship money starts arriving at your college, keep track of what has arrived and what has not. Make weekly visits to the accounting office so that no scholarships are overlooked or missed. By keeping a record of what has arrived and what has not, you can contact organizations yourself and remind them they need to send a check soon. It is not safe to assume that providing a list of anticipated funds is adequate enough attention to ensure you receive credit for the scholarships you earned.

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