Application Tips

Top Scholarship Application Tips and Tricks for UCCS Scholarships

  1. Complete the application in two phases:
    • Rough Draft: Answer all of the questions accurately and completely, but plan to go back later to add details and incorporate the feedback of an outside editor.
    • Final Draft: Have a second set of eyes look over your application materials and catch all of the typos that spell check won’t notice. For example, “you’re / your”or “too /to” are common typos that you may miss. Make sure all of your corrections are submitted before the deadlines!
    • The General Application will be included in every scholarship selection process. It is critical you get it right!
  2. Create unique content for each essay prompt:
    • The College of Business, Engineering and Applied Science, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Public Affairs all have a secondary application process that is used for multiple scholarships in that college. The Alumni Office also uses a secondary application process to distribute alumni scholarships.
    • The essays you submit here need to be different from the General Application materials, even if the questions are similar. Focus on your academics and goals related to your specific major, career, or alumni affiliation.
  3. Pick the right “Apply To” scholarships. This is where some of the BIG money is!
    • Recommended “Apply To” opportunities might appear as the final phase in the application process. You must read the description and decide if you think you are eligible. Typically, these awards are limited by special criteria that make you unique (student athletes, students with disabilities, non-traditional students, etc.) or they require special essay questions that must be written in addition to the other essays you have submitted. Full-ride scholarships will be found in this area if you qualify, and they will require additional work!
    • Research the scholarship’s name to gain an edge on the competition. A quick web search can unearth some valuable facts about the scholarship program, the donors of the award, or the foundation that gives the funds away. Use this information to construct the perfect essay, which aligns with the ideal recipient characteristics.
    • You will not be able to access the “Apply To” scholarships until the General Application and the Conditional Applications (if applicable) are complete. You may submit drafts if you want to skip ahead and see the “Apply To” opportunities ASAP. Do not forget to go back and edit your drafts before the deadlines if you choose to skip ahead.
  4. Check out the External Opportunities page for outside scholarships we think are great.
    • We post outside scholarship opportunities that other UCCS students have received! We try to limit our postings to those groups we trust, but use your common sense when applying. You will never need to pay money to be considered for a scholarship. Most scholarship websites will end in .org. Outside scholarship providers are not under the jurisdiction of UCCS, therefore the University assumes no obligation for verification of the legitimacy of such providers listed on this website. Students please be aware of potential scholarship scams. The University assumes no liability or obligation in verifying the validity of postings.
  5. Plan ahead to meet deadlines.
    • Set a goal of having everything submitted one week before the deadline. That way you have time to fix issues if something goes wrong. Also, save a draft of your essays in the cloud, just in case a website or your computer goes down.
  6. Make sure your essay leaves an impression.
    • Be personal and specific. Include concrete details. Be complete and concise but also creative. If you use an example of some sort, explain it enough so that the committee understands your situation. The scholarship application is a representation of YOU!
  7. Consider your audience: Who do you think is reading all these scholarship applications? Are they your age or older? If you are a traditional aged student, read your materials again and take the perspective of your grandparents.
    • Would they understand the abbreviations you used? Great organizations such as FBLA or NHS, might not be understood by the readers. Describe these things in detail so you get credit for your work.
    • Social media, YouTube, and video game activities might not be understood by an older generation. Think about how to present yourself in an appealing way to a generation who grew up without this technology.
    • Health and wellness are important, but listing your weekly Zumba or Yoga class on your resume might seem flippant. Talking about mental health struggles or substance abuse is rarely the best response to a scholarship essay prompt unless they specifically ask this question. Consider why the committee is asking the question. It might not necessarily be the best time to share your most private thoughts, so save those for your journal; now is the time to craft a response the committee wants to read.
    • Formality is essential. Readers are looking for respectful and thoughtful work that shows effort and composure.
  8. Never assume! Just because you have a 3.0 GPA and your ACT score is just ok, does not mean you will not get a scholarship. As long as you meet the minimum requirement to apply, go for it! Most awards are given to hardworking, well-rounded students who do much more than just school. Work experience counts for a lot, not just volunteering.
    • Just because you were a 4.0 student and scored a perfect ACT score does not necessarily mean you will be awarded a scholarship. Yes, good grades help, but they need to be supported with substance and a well-rounded student who will represent the scholarship well.
  9. Believe in yourself! Do not be discouraged if you did not receive a scholarship. Scholarship money is very limited and the application process is highly competitive for every scholarship, even the smaller ones. It may take many applications, but your potential for receiving an award will increase if you portray confidence.