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Scholarship Application Tips:

Requesting Letters of Recommendations/Reference
  • Choose appropriate references (academic, personal) based on the instructions on the application.
  • Contact your references ahead of time and ask them if they are willing and able to provide a reference for you. Some references may decline, if they feel they do not know you well enough to make a recommendation.
  • Make sure your references have the information they need to provide a good recommendation. It can be helpful to provide them with a copy of your personal statement or resume. Also, let them know what they are providing a reference for (scholarships, mentorship), so they can direct the recommendation appropriately.
  • Give your recommenders time to complete the reference. You should give them several weeks notice. In the case of the online scholarship application, complete the reference section early so the references will receive the email link and have plenty of time to complete their section before the due date.
  • Remember to thank your references and let them know the outcome of your application.

    Writing Scholarship Essays

  • Read the essay question carefully to make sure you answer all parts of the question.
  • Organize your ideas before writing, perhaps creating an outline of major points to address.
  • Write your essay by elaborating on the points in your outline. Introduce each point with a topic sentence, then elaborate on the point in the remainder of the paragraph.
  • Use specific examples, rather than broad generalizations.
  • Use clear, concise, and simple language.
  • Make sure the final sentence(s) pull together the points of your essay and provide a strong, memorable finish.
  • Carefully check spelling and grammar.
  • Reread the original essay question, then review your essay to make sure it addresses all points.
  • Ask someone with good writing skills to proofread the essay.
  • Further essay writing tips here.

    Specific PSU Online Application Tips

  • Use the Scholarship Search to view any additional requirements for scholarships for which you meet the criteria.

  • Submit your application for admission and your transcripts to the Offices of Admissions and Registration and Records prior to the due date of the scholarship application.

  • Have your PSU 9-digit student ID and GPA information handy.

  • You need two on-line letters of recommendation to submit your scholarship application. Please seek out recommenders as soon as possible.

  • Some scholarships require a completed FAFSA. Please complete the FAFSA before submitting your online scholarship application. The Portland State Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships recommends that you complete the FAFSA by February 1, 2021 for the 2021-2022 school year.  The 2021-2022 FAFSA will open October 1, 2020.

  • For immediate assistance with this online scholarship application, please refer to the FAQs.