2018 Scholarships Preparation Strategies

Introduction to the 2018 Scholarships Process

The 2018 scholarships season is about to commence. No need to get nervous, you have time! Approaching the 2018 academic year, as a student or parent of a student, we encourage you to start getting your resume in order, touching up those scholarship essays and start the 2018 scholarships search now.

November marks the start of the 2018 scholarships season. The first sets of scholarships that will hit the road are the graduate international scholarship awards. These Graduate level international scholarships are advertised through various agencies and embassies, which are listed below in this article.

Before we go any further, we first need to outline a solid 2018 scholarships preparation strategy.  Scholarship preparation involves the following ten steps.

Get ready for the 2018 scholarships season

Congratulations, you have made the first official step towards a successful 2018 scholarships application season and process. Visiting our website at scholarshipjamaica.com is the first and most important move you can make in preparing for the hectic scholarship season. We have the tools and expert Scholarship Coaches online and via telephone to guide you in finding your perfect scholarship, updating your resume and sharing the secret of scholarship victory.

Revamp/design your Scholarship Resume

Designing a professional resume (which is your scholarship resume) will help you showcase your professionalism, skill set, outreach, volunteerism and most of all, allow scholarship donors and colleges an opportunity to get to know you. The more the donor knows you, the better your chances of winning the big bucks, internship and becoming a household name to scholarship donors. From our experience, through our scholarship donations, we are way more incline to shortlist applicants whose application package includes completed application forms, and all required documents including their resume. It shows completeness on the applicant’s part.

Identify your scholarship category

You need to decide (if you haven’t done so yet) on the college you will attend, the faculty, subject specialty, and acknowledge your year of study. Your year of study, full or part-time status, and enrolled college or university – whether business or the sciences will determine the type, value and number of 2018 scholarships you will qualify for. Additionally, these selections will help you shortlist the scholarships that best matches your enrollment status.

Design, draft or modify your standard scholarship essay

If you can write an essay that gets more than one read or possibly inspires a smile or laugh or even better, a unique perspective, you are moving in the right direction. Be creative and have fun writing it while, of course, following the directions provided. 

As a scholarship judge myself, I have read hundreds of essays and most of them are not great. They aren’t awful, they just include needless grammatical and spelling errors more often than not, and what’s worse is they are often quite boring. Here are some tips on what to avoid when writing your personal statement.

  • Avoid grammar and spelling errors:Why would there be any errors on a document that is so important? Between all of the tools available to you via the Web and on your computer, there is really no excuse for such errors, but you obviously can’t rely solely on them. Get somebody to proof-read your work and make sure you go over it thoroughly.
  • Follow the directions of the prompt:As with many things in life, here, too, it is critical to follow directions and answer the question or address the topic presented to you. If you don’t have sufficient knowledge to do so intelligently or aren’t confident in your ability to doing so, research the topic or talk to friends and family about it to perhaps get some inspiration.
  • Tap your creativity:Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to complete the essay and application so you can really get into the topic and approach it in a way that is somehow unique. If you are too pressed for time, you really are much less likely to produce something with the best possible chance of helping you win the scholarship.  Scholarship essay writing is a major part of the scholarship application process, as such we have written an article just for this section.

Start the scholarship search, keep a scholarship calendar and schedule application due dates a minimum of 2 weeks before the actual due dates

Let’s do this! I know you have been anxiously awaiting this stage, the 2018 scholarships application process. You have revised the scholarship resources from scholarshipjamaica.com, identified your enrollment status, designed your resume and drafted your scholarship essay. Now, you need to start the physical scholarship search. To start the scholarship search, we will start with the next stage on the list – let’s start at the Financial Aid Office at your college/university.

As you locate each scholarship, you need to simultaneously design or use an existing calendar to make note of each award, its name, its value, donor and deadline. With the proliferation of smart phones, it’s easy to do this with your Google, IPhone or Samsung calendar. Each day you schedule a type to apply and submit before each deadline. We will discuss in the following sections how important it is to apply to scholarships early.

Visit and review listed scholarships in your college’s student services office

At your college/university, the Student Financial Services, the Guidance Counselor’s Office or the Office of Student Financing are all the first place to visit in this new scholarship search strategy. Start your networking strategies here by getting to know the staff and have them know you and your objective. What s your objective? Your objective is the first to know of ALL scholarship/financial aid opportunities that may arise. This is a major secretive step many previous scholarships winners will not let you know. Whilst you meet their acquaintances, request the current scholarship list and previously closed scholarships.

Apply ONLY to scholarships that you qualify for.

Review old scholarships

We have unanimously agree that the ultimate scholarship winning technique is to make note of previous scholarship awards (and apply for them this 2018 academic year) especially those annual scholarships. Unfortunately, some major scholarships are still treated like secrets. Most times, the only time you see a scholarship is when it appears in the Jamaica Gleaner or Jamaica Observer announcing its disbursement and the fortunate winners. You will be one of those winners in 2018!

Some major scholarships such as the Carreras SEEK Scholarship Fund, Sagicor, Jamaica National, Gracekennedy, Tastee, Sandals, and VMBS Foundations are some of the major scholarship donors on an annual basis. These and other similar awards that are especially targeted to college students and not as widely promoted as we would like, there winners/applicants are students who made note of these opportunities or the friends/family of employees and knowledgeable individuals. We therefore recommend that you research old scholarships starting now – and prepare to apply for them in the next academic year.

Obtain application forms

Finding the perfect scholarship is just a part of the process, you, the applicant, must now access these application forms that you MUST complete in its entirety. Scholarship application forms can be accessed online from the scholarship donor, the university financial aid or scholarship website page or from the scholarship announcement articles on www.scholarshipjamaica.com.

Download and print these forms with an extra copy just in case of a writing error. Additionally, scholarship application forms are available in person from the financial aid office, some donor offices such, at the Ministry of Finance’s Scholarship and Assistance Unit and from some corporate scholarship donor offices – such as local credit unions.

Complete scholarship application and submit before the deadline

We are on the final stretch, you have located your scholarship, downloaded and or collected your application forms, completed the application in its entirety, attached all required documents including your resume, reference letter and essay. Now it’s the time to submit your application form. Submitting your application form depends on the donor and administrator preferences. These include but not limited to snail mail, email, express mail and/or drop-it-off yourself.

All this has to be done on or before the deadline. We emphasize deadline, we Jamaicans like to wait on the appointed time to apply for scholarships. We treat scholarship applications like paying for our tuition at the various local universities or paying for taxes – by waiting on the appointed time – just in time!

Just in time isn’t acceptable in the scholarship business. Yes, we have to treat scholarship application as a business. Some traits of a business person are accountability, responsibility, punctuality and honesty. Honestly complete your applications, submit application early, which will facilitate time for follow-up and to be added in the first batch. In our business, first batch catches the best worms.

Design a Scholarship Request Letter (SRL)

It’s very simple, a scholarship request letter comprises of the same structure as writing a regular letter. For this letter we suggest that it’s addressed to a specific individual with the capacity to make a decision of your request or the ability to refer your request to the appropriate person(s). The letter should be no more that 2-3 full paragraphs, get to the point and make it simple.

Start with an opening paragraph introducing yourself and current need. In the preceding paragraphs, outline the purpose of the request, College attending, Value of the request, your career objectives after completing your study, how you can help/contribute to the individual or company’s objectives and the wider society.

End you letter with a thank you statement to the potential donor. Thanking them for reading and considering your request. Also include your contact information and attached a reference letter if possible.


The 2018 academic year can be your most successful in applying to and winning scholarships to cover the cost of your education.We suggest that you get started now, the earlier you start your research, the best chances you will have to become a 2018 scholarships success story.

No one strategy is perfect and our suggested tips, strategies and resources are just a start and part of a multifaceted resource towards a debt-free college/university degree. Our main aim at ScholarshipJamaica.com is to increase awareness of the thousands of local and internationally available scholarships, valued in-excess of JMD$3.6billion open to Jamaican students and also other students of the world. 

We look forward to hear from you on how we can help you make the 2018 scholarships season a successful one and beyond. Additionally, feel free to share these strategies and send us your feed back.

2018 Scholarship Preparation Strategies
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2018 Scholarship Preparation Strategies
We invite you to review the official 2018 scholarships preparation tips and strategies from the scholarship experts at ScholarshipJamaica.com.