As you research scholarship opportunities, keep these tips in mind:
- Make sure you meet all of the eligibility criteria before you submit an application.
- Complete the application in its entirety. Don't leave any item blank. Make a note on the application why it may not apply to you or indicate "Not Applicable."
- Follow directions and provide everything that is requested.
- Write a concise essay. Be as personal and specific as possible. Be creative.
- Neatness counts. Make copies of the forms you receive and use them as working drafts. Once you have the final version, type it or print it neatly and legibly.
- Keep track of deadlines.
- Proofread the entire application before mailing it.
- Make a copy of the entire application for your records.
- Be wary as you search the Internet, and be careful of solicitations you receive in the mail from places that "guarantee" you'll receive scholarships if you pay a fee. Each year many families fall prey to scholarship fraud and scams. The Federal Trade Commission warns consumers to be alert for companies that make guarantees or ask for money or credit card numbers. If they are promising something that seems too good to be true, it could be a scam.
To find out how to spot, stop or report a scholarship scam, visit the FTC Web site at www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams or call (877) FTC-HELP.