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A Lesson in Scholarships

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Public Relations Major
Olivia Jeske

By Olivia Jeske

Scholarships can be a great way to lower the cost of tuition. Who doesn’t like filing out a couple of forms and writing an essay, and getting money in return? Plus, it’s a great way to assemble your accomplishments in one complete package.

Scholarship options can range from those offered within the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire to those that are nationally-recognized. No matter your background or interests, there is bound to be a scholarship for you.

Whether you are competing against your fellow Blugolds or against college students all around the nation, you need to make your scholarship application stand out from all the rest.

Here are five tips that can help you nail that scholarship:

  1. Apply, apply, apply! It’s simple. If you don’t apply for the scholarship, you have no chance of winning it. If you are dedicated to the idea of getting some extra funding, do not let any opportunity pass you by. If you fulfill all of the requirements – give it a shot! You never know – by showcasing your talents and experiences, you could be thousands of dollars richer!
  2. Always be specific. Say the writing prompt asks you a simple question, such as “How do you exhibit leadership?” When formulating your answer, don’t focus on the broad concepts – use detailed examples from your own life. Providing vague answers may make it seem like you really don’t have a concrete idea for what they’re asking. Being specific will show that you can apply situations in your life to a bigger picture.
  3. Get inside their head. What is the goal of the scholarship? Is it to honor of a past student who was involved in certain activities? Is it to promote interest in the field? Find background information on the scholarship that might help you understand why they want to recognize someone with the award. That way, you can tailor your responses to show that you are exactly the kind of person they are looking for.
  4. Be neat. This doesn’t just mean being an interesting person. Neatness counts! Like a resume, the scholarship application is a way to present who you are. Grammar or spelling errors can indicate that you are a sloppy person who is not dedicated to detail. Have a friend, professor, or aid from Career Services check over your work and ensure that it is perfect and ready to go!
  5. Show your style. There might be other applicants who have the same major as you, are in some of the same clubs as you, and who have similar work experience as you. But they don’t have your unique insight! Work it to your advantage – sharing those little differences of yours will make you memorable in the eyes of the awarders.

That’s it! Following these five tips may give you the boost you need to snag that extra money you need for tuition, housing, books – you name it. Also, don’t forget to keep a positive attitude! Best of luck!

Jeske is senior public relations major and business administration minor pursuing a web design certificate. She’s also the lead student writer at UW-Eau Claire’s News Bureau, the Scholarships/Internships manager for PRSSA and a member of the women’s concert chorale.
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