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University of Illinois Springfield

Office of Prestigious Scholarships University of Illinois Springfield

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Planning for Scholarships

Consider your fit with scholarships

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I really enjoy learning?
  • Do I like taking an active part in my education?
  • Do I have plans for what I want to do with my life and my education?
  • Can I explain these plans and their value clearly?
  • Am I at ease talking about ideas?
  • Do I easily take initiative and accept responsibility for doing so?
  • Do I adapt easily to different people and situations?

The more of these questions you can honestly answer “yes” to, the more you fit the general profile of a good scholarship applicant.

The scholarships listed on this site are prestigious, rewarding and highly competitive. From all the applicants roughly 2 to 15 percent are chosen to receive awards. Being awarded a prestigious scholarship can be life-changing but the process of applying, even if you are not selected for an award, can be valuable also. The application process requires you to think about yourself objectively, to engage in self-reflection, and to form a plan from your talents and aspirations. This is an important part of the higher education process that is often overlooked not only by students but also by faculty and administrators.

You may be pressured by parents, professor or peers to apply for major scholarships and you certainly should consider their advice but ultimately the decision is yours. In applying for a major scholarship, you are saying that you are willing to make a personal commitment, often for a period of years, to the hard work of obtaining and using an education.

If you feel you fit the general profile look through the scholarships listed on this website to find those that match your goals and field of study. Be sure to read the home websites of these scholarships also. Links to these are provided in the listing.

Engaging in your education

The process of winning a major competitive scholarship starts long before you start working on the application form. It often begins when you discover that you have intellectual curiosity and you like to learn and you want to do something with what you learn. If you feel this way, you’re off to a good start. The next step is to turn your abilities into accomplishments.

Beginning early in your college career:

  • Take an active approach to your education. Don’t wait for it to come to you. Choose to become involved in classes, events and activities that are challenging, interesting and rewarding,
  • Choose your courses and activities thoughtfully. Don’t become over-involved and don’t just join organizations simply to pad your resume.
  • Use your summers to your advantage. Plan ahead to find internships, jobs and service projects that you can learn from.
  • ]Search for ways to work with faculty on research or service projects and to take part in presenting reports on these activities to others.

You should be enjoying yourself. If you’re not, you may be engaged in too many activities or in ones that aren’t right for you.