Make it rain this fall with PSU general scholarship

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Illustration by Serghey Chuklanov

It’s already that time of year again when we all need to think about applying for next year’s scholarships. A good place to start would be with Portland State’s General Scholarship Application, which is open to PSU students of all levels.

What is the PSU General Scholarship Application?

It’s a catch-all application in which students are automatically considered for most PSU-affiliated scholarships for which they are eligible.

Here’s a quick guide on how to fill it out:

  1. Find the scholarship application

The scholarship can be found on PSU’s “Scholarships” webpage. Hit the live link which will take you to a scholarship manager page where you’ll be asked to log in and begin your application.

2. Make an account

If you don’t have a scholarship manager account, you’ll need to make one. All you need is a username and password. It’s a pretty standard procedure.

3. Pick your scholarships.

You’re almost ready to start filling out the application. The first few steps will ask you questions in order to determine your eligibility for specific scholarships, and you’ll likely be asked to pick other general scholarships to apply for as well. After that, your tailored application will be ready to fill out.

4. Fill out the application

There will be general questions and also essay questions to answer. The amount of questions and essays will depend on how many scholarships you are applying for.

You can save your application at any time throughout this process, so copy down the essay questions and take the time necessary to answer each one thoughtfully.

5. Seek out your recommendation letters early

Another component of the application is gathering references. You may only need one, or you may need three or four. It all depends on which scholarships are on your plate.  

You have until December to get this application done, but the sooner you ask your references for a letter, the more time they will have to work on it and the less stress you will feel about them turning it in on time.

Also, don’t forget to thank your references. You might fill out this application every year until you graduate, so don’t burn your bridges.

Once you have all your essays done and your references in, all you have left to do is hit submit and hope for the best.

Tips for answering essay questions

Pay attention to the question you’re answering and make sure that you’re actually answering it. This may seem obvious, but we can all get carried away sometimes.

Watch your word count! If you find yourself way under the specified amount, go back and think carefully about smart ways to flesh out your idea. You could add “fluff” words, but that isn’t going to make your essay more compelling.

If you’re way over the word count, re-edit with concise language in mind. It might also be a good idea to pick just one aspect out of your essay and make that the focal point in order to shed length.

Utilize your resources: The campus writing center is always open, and your student fees pay for it. Get out and ask for help if you need it.

It’ll take a few months before you will likely receive a response on any successful applications. Undergraduates typically receive a response in mid-March while graduate students will receive word in April or June.

Good luck!

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