Gaylena Merritt

Five Tips for Completing a Successful Scholarship or Grant Application

It’s that time of the year when Thetas are busy making plans for the summer and preparing for the upcoming academic year. Theta Foundation recognizes February as NPC’s Month of the Scholar, and is proud to support Thetas in their scholastic pursuits and promotion of the widest influence for good through our grants and scholarships. To ensure you submit a successful application, learn more about upcoming application deadlines on our Apply Now page and check out the tips below to help you prepare.

  1. Read instructions. The grant and scholarship applications and their companion application guides outline all instructions required to successfully complete the application process. In the scholarship application form, look for blue question marks near certain questions for supplemental instructions. You can also click on the green “Help” button on the right side of the application for Frequently Asked Questions and answers.
  2. Stay informed. Be sure to regularly check your email and Theta Foundation’s social media pages for messages and information related to the grant and scholarship application opportunities by following us on Facebook and Twitter.
  3. File your FAFSA ASAP! Even if you aren’t interested in applying for Theta Foundation’s need-based scholarships, it is important to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if you intend to enroll in any degree-granting program next year. If you are a collegian member applying for Theta Foundation’s need-based scholarships, be sure to submit your FAFSA as soon as possible so you can successfully complete your scholarship application. I also recommend downloading Filing the FAFSA: The Edvisors Guide to Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a free e-book with step-by-step instructions for submitting a complete and accurate FAFSA.
  4. Proofread, proofread, proofread. When entering information into your Theta Foundation grant and/or scholarship application, particularly the narrative components, remember that the application is your only chance to make a good impression with evaluators. Theta Foundation’s programs are competitive, and we have high standards. Make sure your essays are well-written and free of errors; poorly written essays will negatively affect your application score, and incorrect or incomplete answers may result in disqualification.
  5. Get help. As noted above, narrative responses—though short in length—make up a significant part of Theta Foundation’s applications and evaluation standards. A number of resources can help you write strong responses as part of a strong and competitive application submission for Theta Foundation grant and scholarship funding. My recommendations include, but are not limited to, Purdue OWL (the Purdue Online Writing Lab) and your campus writing center.

We’re also happy to help you with your grant and scholarship applications. If you have any questions, please contact me at Don’t forget, the deadline for scholarship applications is Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and the upcoming deadline for grant applications for summer programs is Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.