What can I do to increase the likelihood of getting a scholarship?
There are several things you can do to increase the your likelihood of receiving a scholarship; but before I mention them I would like to say none of them are guarantees, but more like best practices!!!!
1) Read the scholarships interest and make sure that you are a great candidate for the scholarship...do not try to fit yourself into the scholarships mission if it is not for you there are many available that will fit. "Don't put a size 10 foot into a size 8 shoe"
2) Really read the guidelines for submitting the scholarship: a)postmark date, b) number of recommendations and from whom c) gpa requirements d) affiliations if any ex. member of a credit union, or rotary club, e) ethnicity f) location, and there are so many specifics that if you are not careful you can put a lot of time into an application only to realize you have missed a critical piece that inhibits your eligibility
3) Create a spreadsheet of all of the scholarships that you apply for that includes all of the aforementioned details and add your correspondence with the scholarship administrators ex. had interview, made it to second round, notification date, won/did not win scholarship
4) finally if you meet or speak with someone from the scholarship committee remember to be professional and honest when answering questions and giving feedback to open ended questions; don't talk yourself out of it by not listening carefully to what is asked, or inadvertenly try to make a familiar connection based on external information assuming it will give you a better chance of being considered.
Always remember regardless of the outcome you will not win them all but you can win some if you keep applying; start early and do not stop!!!!