7 Common Scholarship Information Requirements

Every scholarship is different, from who it is for to the amount awarded. The information required for a scholarship application is also different. While some applications may be similar, other award organizations may ask for different information or material from their applicants. The most common scholarship requirements though tend to be your basic information, financial details, essays, and high school transcripts. 

Here are some details about common scholarship requirements and why they’re asking for that information so you can be well-informed (and meet all the criteria) when applying for awards!

Scholarship application form surrounded by pens and notebooks.

Source: Flickr user ralphpaglia .

What are Common Scholarship Requirements?

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.

1. 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.

It is very important to get this information correct as making an error in your contact details could mean the scholarship organization can’t reach you in the event they need more information or you win!


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2. Proof You Meet the Qualifications of the Award

Almost all awards have some sort of criteria that it requires of their applicants. In some cases, the organization will ask for that information up front, while others may only have you prove the details if you won.

Scholarships that require particular criteria may ask for qualification information including proof:

  • That you are a citizen of the United States.
  • Of your location and home address. 
    • Awards can be area-specific. They could be only offered to students living or attending college in a particular state or region, for example.
  • That you’re of a certain age, grade, or education level. 
    • Some scholarships are only offered to high school students, certain grades, college students, returning students, or students within a certain age bracket. 

3. 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. 

Many scholarships and grants will also use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to get this information, especially if the award is through the college. Even if you think you don’t qualify for any grants from the government, it is vital that you complete your FAFSA as soon as possible – you never know what money you’re missing out on.

4. Essay

It’s not uncommon for a scholarship to require you to send an essay along with your application. The essay’s criteria vary 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.

5. High School or College Transcripts

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. You could also be required to prove you made the honor roll of the equivalent at your school.

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.

6. Binding Contracts

Other awards are based on agreements between you and the organization. These are usually grants through the state. For example, some grants for future teachers require you to teach for a set number of years after graduation in a specific area. If you fail to meet these requirements in the set time frame, you could be on the hook for paying that money back!

Always read over the fine details when it comes to your scholarships – especially if you win. You want to be sure you won’t have to pay the money back due to a mistake or misunderstanding.

7. 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 that it is your natural hair color. This could require a current photo of you, a signed contract that is your natural hair color, a younger photo of you with your hair color, or all three!

Others may be first-generation immigrants and could ask for background details and proof of your family’s immigration.

Scholarships are almost always upfront about the information they need from applicants. It’s always important to understand what the organization is asking from you before you even begin applying. Forgetting an important piece of the puzzle could mean taking yourself out of the running before you’ve even submitted your application! Start by creating a checklist for your potential awards so you can be sure you have all your ducks in a row.

Ready to apply for scholarships? Use our scholarship search tool to help you find free money!


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