What Information Does a Scholarship Application Require? And Why?

Every scholarship is different, from who it is for to the amount awarded. The information required for scholarship application is also different. While some applications may be similar, other award organizations may ask for different information or material from their applicants. Here are some details about what you’ll need to provide in a scholarship application and why they’re looking for that information.

Scholarship application form surrounded by pens and notebooks.

Source: Flickr user ralphpaglia .

Information Required for Scholarship Applications?

Scholarships will sometimes only ask for basic information. But others can ask for more extensive submissions – ones that include required essays, for example. Here are just a few things that you may need to submit with your scholarship application.

Basic Information

Every scholarship out there will at least ask for your basic information. This includes your name, address, phone number, email, date of birth, high school or college details, and other identifying material.
Scholarships that require particular criteria will ask qualifications information including:
  • You have to be a citizen of the United States.
  • You need to live in a certain area. Awards can be area-specific. They could be only offered to students living or attending college in a particular state or region, for example.
  • You have to be a certain age or grade. Some scholarships are only offered to high school students, certain grades, college students, or students within a certain age bracket.

And, of course, in the event you win, the scholarship requires that contact information to notify you!

Financial Details

In some cases, scholarship applications may ask for your and/or your parents’ financial details. This is often required if the award is need based and the organization needs to verify your financial need. Some grants will also use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to get this information, so even if you think you don’t qualify for any grants from the government, still fill this out!


Many scholarships also ask you to submit an essay along with your application. The essay’s criteria varies greatly from award to award, so be sure you read the rules before you start writing! In some cases, the essay may present you with a particular prompt, such as “What are your plans if you win this award?” or “Why do you deserve to win?

Others may be more open ended or allow you to write about anything you wish. Always brainstorm, follow the required word count, and have someone read over your work.

Essays could be required for a scholarship that is merit based and are for students who show particular promise and dedication to the field the award is in.


Merit based scholarships almost always require your transcripts (high school and/or college, depending on your current education) as they are looking for students who have over a certain GPA. There will also be some awards that require you to maintain that GPA for a set number of semesters or years, especially if the award repeats year after year.

And More

There is a multitude of other information a scholarship could ask for. For example, there are awards based on natural hair color – this organization may ask for proof (a younger photo of you) that it is your natural hair color. Others may be first generation immigrants and could ask for background details.

It’s always important to understand the information required for scholarship applications before you begin. This will help ensure you’re meeting all the criteria and not taking yourself out of the running before you’ve even submitted your application!

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