Scholarships, in conjunction with student loans, make a big impact on college students’ abilities to continue their education. But when it comes to filling out scholarship applications, many are thrown in the deep-end. Share these top three scholarship tips with your students, and be sure to let them know about all the great scholarship opportunities Cengage Learning has to offer.

1.) Read and follow all instructions.

Read through all the requirements and criteria before you begin. Make sure this scholarship is for you before you put your time into applying. (If it’s not, send it to a friend.) When you’ve finished your application, read back through all of your materials, making sure you’ve followed every step. You don’t want to get skipped over for a simple mistake.

2.) Be specific and original.

Student transcripts and resumes sometimes look quite similar. The best way to make yourself stand out is with the written portion of your application. Try to avoid broad, theoretical stories in your essay. If you’re presented with a problem, say exactly how you would fix it with detailed steps and draw from your personal memories. Educators want to see that you learn and have benefited from your unique experiences.

3.) Seek help if you need it.

Scholarship applications are intended to speak to your personal accomplishment, attributes and goals. But that doesn’t mean you can’t seek out some support. If you’re having trouble coming up with a topic for your essay prompt, or you’re not sure you’re representing yourself clearly, ask someone you trust to help you brainstorm. And always have at least one person proofread your submission.

Academic scholarship opportunities

Ready to get started? Our partners at Questia and CengageBrain are now accepting student applications for THIRTY academic scholarships for the 2015 fall semester. Last spring, Questia and CengageBrain announced the three winners of Questia’s Most Valuable Professors Contest and the three recipients of CengageBrain’s America’s Greatest Professors Award.

College students from across the country nominated great professors they believed deserved the title of “Most Valuable Professor” (MVP) or the “Greatest Professor Award” (GPA). For the grand prize, Questia and CengageBrain pledged to establish five $500 scholarships in each of the six winning professors’ names. Those six winners have earned the honor of choosing the scholarship criteria and selecting the scholarship recipients.

Questia’s MVPs and their fields of studyQuestia MVP Award

  • Dr. W. Steven Pray: Awarding five $500 scholarships to students studying medicine, pharmacy, nursing, optometry, other medical fields
  • Dr. Lynne McNeillAwarding five $500 scholarships to students studying humanities or social sciences

»For complete instructions on applying to these scholarships, visit Questia’s MVP Scholarship page.

CengageBrain’s GPAs and their fields of studyCengageBrain GPA Contest

  • Lynn Stiles: Awarding five $500 scholarships to students studying communications
  • Andrea Burke: Awarding five $500 scholarships  to students studying medical assisting

»For complete instructions on applying to these scholarships, visit CengageBrain’s GPA Scholarship page.