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- Make yourself a strong candidate A strong Grade Point Average (GPA) is important when applying for scholarships but it’s not the only factor. Get involved, gain valuable experience by participating in Clubs and Organizations, Volunteer Activities, MC Honors Programs, Phi Theta Kappa, or Co-op/Internship.
- Keep an eye out for opportunities Apply for FAFSA early (October 15 of each year is suggested – estimate using the previous year’s information and update later as needed), visit the Financial Aid office, check MyMC for scholarship announcements, create a FastWeb account, visit the MC Transfer Scholarship Blog.
- Search “Transfer Scholarships” on the site of each school of interest, or look on each school’s Financial Aid Page – this is where transfer scholarship information is usually housed – even merit scholarships that are not based on need.
- Google “Transfer Scholarships”, “Psychology Transfer Scholarships (use your major), “Montgomery County MD Scholarships” etc. etc. – you get the Google idea.
- Complete your Associate’s degree – many transfer scholarships specify that students need to have either an Associate’s degree or 56 transfer credits. Fewer transfer scholarships are available if you have less than 30 credits completed.
- Pay attention to eligibility criteria Scholarships can be merit-based, need-based, or a combination of the two. Merit-based scholarships often require a specific GPA as well as leadership activities and honors courses. Need-based scholarships often ask for FAFSA or income information. Know what is required before applying for a scholarship for which you might not be eligible.
- Research the sponsoring organization Read about the organization, institution or scholarship you are applying to. If you know the sponsor has a passion for healthcare and you are interested in healthcare, then highlight that in your application to stand out.
- Keep an updated resume Scholarships often require a resume as part of the scholarship packet. A scholarship resume is different that the one that you would use when applying for a job, it focuses more on academic activities. Always consult with a Career Services Professional.
- Letter of Recommendation View a Student’s Guide to Getting the Best Letters of Recommendation.
- Have supplemental materials ready Most scholarships will require some if not all of these supporting materials:
– Official transcripts – request transcripts from Admissions and Enrollment Management– Financial aid forms and tax information – accessible online through your FAFSA profile
– Essays – consult with the MC Writing Center or an advisor to make sure your essay is polished and comprehensive
– Recommendation letters – ask in advance and make sure your references can meet the required deadline
- Submit a complete application! The application form itself may seem like the simplest part, but this is often where scholarship readers find the most mistakes. Read over your application carefully before you submit it. Double check all required materials (sometimes applications require multiple copies of certain materials). Incomplete applications are often discarded.