General documents required for scholarship applicationsYi Ling
Applying for a scholarship involves various important steps and requires various important documents. As the competition level for scholarships are intense, the slightest mistake in filling out the application forms and any error in document submissions will lead to an immediate disqualification. Before you start applying for scholarships, here are some general documents you must have ready for any scholarship applications:
Application forms typical come in two formats – hard copy and soft copy. Be sure to read the instructions for filling up the form before you start filling it out. Most application forms come with instructions on how to fill and how to submit the form. Some scholarships only accept forms and documents which are posted or hand delivered whereas some only accept applications via an online portal. Be sure to double check the proper procedures before applying.
Transcripts of certificates
The typical transcripts that scholarship applications require are mainly academic and financial in nature. For academic documents, typical examples are high school certificates, undergraduate or diploma transcripts and various language proficiency certificates such as IELTS, TOFLE etc. Applicants would typically need to provide certified true copies of such documents where the authentication and certification is done by the awarding institutions. For financial documents depending on the nature of the scholarships, some might require pay slips, fixed deposit certificates, tax return forms or some form of financial proof of eligibility. Again, a financial institution will typically certify these documents.
Another typical document required by most scholarship awarding bodies is the resume of the applicant. The resume required is almost similar to that of what you would use for a job application. This is where you would display your work experiences, education background (which will match your academic transcripts) and various interests.
An application letter, similar with that of a cover letter for a job application is a letter that states your intention in applying for the scholarship. The length of an application letter is typically only one page long. In this letter you will be required to state why you are applying for this scholarship, the course you intend to pursue and your future aspirations and goals. You are also encouraged to state your personal qualities and attributes which might give you an edge over other applicants.
Another common requirement is the application essay. This is perhaps the most important document as it allows the applicant to state why they deserve the scholarship and what sort of benefit they will bring to the world by being awarded the scholarship. Be sure to follow the strict guidelines and to only write within the required parameters.
Letter of recommendation
Scholarship applications usually require two letters of recommendations. Some are more specific, requiring one recommendation letter from a person in the academic field and another person apart from a family member such as an employer. Also, these letters are required to be submitted to the awarding bodies in a sealed envelope to avoid tampering.
Medical reports are sometimes also required to be submitted together with the scholarship applications. The scholarship awarding body will provide a list of healthcare centres which are authorized to perform such check-ups and to sign the medical reports.