The scholarship hunt and application process is already lengthy enough, why would you bother tossing in additional research about the person / organization / group funding the scholarship itself? What are the benefits? You may be surprised to discover that there are many.
If the scholarship requires an essay, knowing just who the donor is and what they stand for can give you a huge leg-up. For example, if you’re applying to a scholarship offered by your town’s local radio station, and they specify in the scholarship app that they’re looking for students who are dedicated to communication, you’ve just been handed a golden ticket in terms of how to focus your essay. Communication. Find an anecdote that revolves around a time communication was important in your life, or why you think it’s a valuable skill to have in life. Use the donor’s values to your advantage.
And if you plan on recycling an essay for multiple scholarship applications, knowing each donor’s different mindsets or attributes can help you edit and personalize each essay—making it feel tailor-made will give you bonus points.
Would you ever interview for a job you knew nothing about? Of course not! Research and preparation is key for both job and scholarship interviews. Knowing is half the battle, right? And knowing all about the donor’s goals and ventures can not only show that you’re mature and responsible, but also steady nerves you might be having. Over-preparing is always better than under-preparing.
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