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Scholarship Tips for Saving on Tuition


Scholarships are an excellent way to save money on tuition. A successful scholarship application takes a considerable amount of time and effort. Tackling your scholarship search with strategy and efficiency can translate into extra applications—and therefore, extra tuition dollars.

Think of your scholarship application strategy as a regular practice. Treat your scholarship application time as you would a part-time job by working on it during a fixed time slot you have scheduled into your week. Investing regular increments of time to work on applications will likely serve you better than doing an all-out application-fest over a single weekend. 

To save yourself the trouble of scrambling for documents at the last minute by dedicating a binder to housing physical copies of regularly requested documents (report cards, transcripts, student ID numbers, awards/certificates, letters of recommendation, parents’ tax returns, etc.). The master binder is also a great place to keep a list of scholarships you have already applied for, as well as a calendar with upcoming application due dates.

Although it’s important to cater your essays to the specific requirements of each individual scholarship opportunity, there will likely be some overlap between the various essays you write. Save a copy of each application you complete in case you can reuse any content. This will help you cut down on overall writing time while ensuring that your essay is fresh and unique.

Most scholarships will require you to submit a letter of recommendation. Teachers and mentors are great options when considering who to ask for a recommendation letter. They are doing you a huge favor as their words could be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It is therefore in your best interest to make the process as easy for your letter-writers as possible. Here are some helpful tips on how to ask and receive letters of recommendation:

  • Communicate effectively–schedule an appointment with your letter-writer and let them know that you are in the scholarship application process and could use their support with a letter of recommendation.
  • Be clear– tell them how many scholarships you are applying to and explain whether you need individual letters for each, or a general letter can be repurposed for multiple applications.
  • Come prepared– provide your letter-writer with a resumé and be sure to highlight accomplishments you want mentioned in your letters of recommendation.
  • Know your time frame–have the dates each application needs to be completed by and set a reasonable deadline that works for both of you.
  • Be courteous–send your letter-writers a thank you card and be sure to share news of any scholarship wins with them.

Time is a crucial component of a winning scholarship application. By combining best practices in time management, organization and communication, you can maximize the quality of your scholarship applications and increase the odds of saving on your post-secondary tuition. 


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