Helpful Tips when Applying for Scholarships

Appalachian State University recognizes the effort that goes into applying for scholarships and understands the important role that parents and families, as well as mentors have played in raising well-rounded scholarly students.  After a student has submitted their college admissions application many families and students are unsure of the next steps in the process of applying for scholarships. Students can apply for scholarships at Appalachian State University after submitting the admissions application. Students will be notified via email about their MyMountaineer portal. Details on how to apply and the application link will be included in this portal. Parents and students will also be receiving correspondence via mail. A scholarship brochure will be included in the mail correspondence that can also be found on our website.  From writing a college essay to successfully interviewing for scholarships, each step is very important, and while this resource is written for parents, families and mentors, students themselves will benefit from reading the below information.  

Tips to Help Your Student Apply for Scholarships

How to Write a College Essay

Remind your students to remember how their high school English teachers taught to write a well-organized essay using proper grammar. However, this should be written in a more personal sense such a diary entry or memoir. There are many online resources that can serve as a refresher of how to write a scholarship essay. There are many tips available to help your student's paper stand out to faculty and staff as they review his or her application. We have listed a few helpful resources below. Their essay should be their own work which will help the scholarship committees see more into the student as a person and what they represent. If your student is submitting an essay via email, fax or mail, please make sure to include his or her last name on each page submitted.

Recommendation Letters

Letters of Recommendations are an extremely viable part of your student's scholarship application. Two letters of recommendation must be submitted with the scholarship application before a student’s application can be deemed complete. After a student has provided the recommenders name, relation and contact information on the scholarship application, the Office of University Scholarships will email the recommender with information on submitting recommendations, but we highly suggest students follow up with recommenders to ensure they have received the request, understand deadlines and are willing to provide a recommendation. Applications will be incomplete and ineligible for any scholarship opportunities if the letters are not received by November 15. Recommenders are ideally someone who has known your student in a professional, academic or leadership setting for an extended period of time. Recommenders should never be immediate family.

Video Interview Attire and Tips

If selected as a finalist for one or more of our Signature Scholarships, your student may be invited to interview by zoom on or before February 1.  As with any professional interview, we encourage students to dress to impress and above all look professional. They shouldn’t wear anything that will make them uncomfortable as this will show in the interview. Our video interviews will be approximately 30 minutes in duration, and students will be interviewing with a panel of faculty, staff and possibly current scholars, community volunteers, alumni and friends of the University. This will be your student's opportunity to express who they are as an unique individual. We recommend students practice answering interview questions and become comfortable with speaking about themselves and sharing their goals and experiences as they might relate to the interview questions.  

Video Interview Tips:

  • Find a quiet, private, well-lit place, free from possible interruptions. If you don't have a place available, check with your school couseling office, a home of a friend, or other location
  • Ensure your internet connection is stable
  • Check that your computer's audio is working
  • Make sure all devices are fully charged 
  • Test your webcam
  • close any unnecessary web browser tabs and applications
  • Dress professionally
  • Have a pen, notepad and copy of your resume or application on the desk in front of you
  • Observe your posture, listen carefully as others speak, nod and smile to show you are engaged
  • Use hand gestures when appropriate
  • Place your phone in silent mode, and have a cell phone or another phone available should you need a backup for audio or to call in
  • Prior to your interview... Practice! Practice! Practice! Practice answering common interview questions in front of the mirror or with a trusted friend, family or mentor

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