10 Tips for Scholarship Success

Woman at the 2016 SUNY Ulster scholarship ceremony holding her award and smiling
It’s now time to apply for scholarships here at SUNY Ulster! The Ulster Community College Foundation General Application is open for students to fill out, and doing so enters them into a pool where they can possibly be matched with one or more scholarships. Both on campus and off, there are many types of scholarships: academic scholarships, need-based (financial) scholarships, sports scholarships, club or member-based scholarships, and more. Here’s some tips for increasing your odds of getting one!

#1: Start ASAP and Apply Early

Many scholarships have early application deadlines, so don’t miss out on these opportunities. You can even apply for college scholarships before you’ve started college! SUNY Ulster has an application period every year in the winter for returning and graduating students and every summer for incoming freshmen.

#2: Search Locally

Don’t stop at just Ulster; look in your community, too! Local banks, grocery stores, clubs, businesses, organizations, and churches are all potential sources for community scholarships. Also check state-funded scholarships. States have lots of money to disperse when it comes to providing education.

#3: Read the Requirements

If you apply to a specific scholarship, make sure you are eligible right from the start, so you’re not wasting your time. Also, never pay to apply for a scholarship, since these are usually scams.

#4: Follow Instructions Carefully

Errors can quickly get your scholarship application denied. Proofread it. Have someone else proofread it as well. Double check your answers to make sure you completely and accurately responded to all questions.

#5: Neatly Presented, Neatly Packaged

If your scholarship application must be mailed, use certified mail or better yet, FedEx, making your application look as professional as possible.

#6: Communicate

Make sure the application is complete and correct. If you are not sure about something in the scholarship application, don’t hesitate to ask someone at the Foundation or whoever is in charge of scholarships where you are applying for one.

#7: Check for School Specific Scholarships

If you’re graduating, check with the college you would like to attend. Usually, there are many school-specific scholarships available. Some scholarships offered through the Ulster Community College Foundation specify a preferred transfer school, so be sure to include your plans in the application to better your chances of getting matched up with these scholarships. Earning scholarships based on a transfer college can also help you make your school choice when the time comes for your final decision.

#8: Be Active, Stay Active

Being in a sports team, club, or doing some type of community service will always better your chances of receiving a college scholarship. Numerous scholarships offered through the Foundation stress community involvement as a requirement.

#9: Maintain your GPA

Keep your grades up. A higher GPA will increase your eligibility for most scholarships, on top of increasing your chances of receiving funds through Financial Aid.

#10: Ask a Foundation Employee for Help

Visiting a Foundation employee in the Clinton 203 suite can help you learn more about traditional scholarships that might be available to you, as well as any aid or special scholarships that fall outside of those covered by the General Application, like Lights for Learning.

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Even if you don’t think your chances of getting a scholarship are likely, at least fill out the Ulster Community College Foundation General Scholarship Application; there is one for current students and prospective students. If you have any other questions about Ulster’s scholarships, contact the Foundation by emailing dvoraksg@sunyulster.edu, by phone at 845-687-5293, or stop by the offices in the Clinton 203 suite on campus.

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