Different foundations adopt different systems for how to make their scholarship application available to the public. Fortunately, many scholarships now have their own web site where you can download the application and the accompanying documents in a few minutes. For other foundations, however, obtaining applications isn't so easy. Every year the Scholarship Connection sees about a dozen scholarships that can only be obtained from a designated scholarship center, like our office. These scholarships are clearly designated by our server, and by most other scholarship resource centers. For the remainder of awards, however, foundations employ a variety of systems that revolve around you contacting them to obtain the application. This may mean calling their phone number and leaving a mailing address, filling it a form on their web site or emailing their office, or even mailing in a request.
Regardless of how the foundation expects you to obtain their application, the most important thing is to obtain the application as early as possible. The Scholarship Connection requests all applications three months in advance of the deadline: it isn't so early that the foundation hasn't finalized the application; but it is early enough that we can process the information through own office. If you don't have fancy software like we do, or simply aren’t organized enough to request scholarship applications that far in advance, most scholarship foundations with web sites or email requests can get you the information even with a few weeks remaining before the deadline. There are two things to be aware of, though. First, leave yourself enough time to complete the application and get all the necessary documentation, such as letters of recommendation and transcripts. Second, a few scholarship foundations actually have request deadlines. Thus, if you do not request the application before the date they designate, you cannot apply.
Reading Through the Application
Once you get the application, the most important thing to do is read! The application and the information that comes with it will include essential information for the entire application process. It would be unfortunate if you went through the entire application process and forgot to include a transcript, for example. A good idea is to read through the entire application and make a list of everything that is required on a separate sheet of paper. This should then be attached to the application. It will be nice to have all the requirements on one page--especially since many applications list each of the requirements separately.