Interviews are an important part of the scholarship selection process. The interview allows the scholarship committee to learn more about the candidates. Here are some tips to help with interviews:
Dress appropriately! Jeans and t-shirts are not appropriate for formal interviews. Interviews require business or business casual attire.
Be prepared! Scholarship committees will ask you various questions in order to learn more about you. Be prepared to answer questions about your major and personal interests and hobbies. What is your intended major and why?
Ask questions! Show an interest in what is going on around you.
Use resources! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Parents, teachers, and friends can always help you prepare for an interview. Have your mentors ask you possible interview questions to help you prepare.
Interviews can be stressful. Try to relax and be confident. Good luck!
Here are some helpful tips to help maximize your opportunity to be awarded an academic scholarship from SIU.
Apply Early! Several academic scholarships are awarded based on information provided on your admission application. Submit scholarship and admission applications before the deadlines! Even if a student is qualified, submitting an application after the deadline ensures that a student will not receive the award. Be sure to get applications in before time runs out! Apply for admission now!
Type Applications! Typed applications look clean, are easier to read than hand-written applications, and spell-check can prevent any writing errors. SeeApplications (below) for more help with filling out scholarship applications.
Take your time to prepare a thorough essay! Most scholarship applications require an essay question to be answered. Take your time while writing the essay questions. The essay question helps the scholarship committee learn more about you and why you should receive the scholarship. See Essays (below) for more help with writing scholarship essay questions.
Be Prepared! If the scholarship requires an interview, be prepared to answer a variety of questions and dress appropriately. See Interviews (above) for more help with preparing for scholarship interviews.
Write a Thank You Letter! Many scholarships are possible because of the generosity of private donors. Letting donors know how much their scholarship means encourages the continuation of the scholarship program. See Guidelines for Writing Thank You Letters (below) for more help with writing your letter.
Filling out applications takes time, but it is worth it. Without filling out an application, it is very unlikely you will receive any scholarships. Here are some tips to make the application process a little easier:
If possible, type the application! Typed applications look better than handwritten applications and are easier for scholarship committees to read. If you cannot type the application, use a black or blue pen to write it by hand and make sure your writing is legible and clear.
Check the information! Make sure the information is correct, to the best of your knowledge, before sending in the application. Check to see if your name, dawg tag, address, email, etc. are correct so, if you are awarded the scholarship, the committee will be able to get in touch.
Complete the application! Don’t leave fields missing unless you are instructed to do so. If important information is missing from the application, it could affect whether or not you are awarded a scholarship. Don’t skip the essay questions just because they require time and effort. The essays can help the scholarship committee determine who should be awarded the scholarship. For help with essays, see Essays (below).
For some scholarships, essays are the only way the scholarship committee can learn about the candidates. Here are some helpful tips for writing good essays:
Take your time! Don’t rush through the essay section of the application. It may take time, but this could help the committee determine who will ultimately receive the scholarship.
Be thorough! Answer the question completely, but within the guidelines. Don’t skip over sections because they seem boring. However, don’t write longer than the scholarship requests. If the applications requires a 1-2 page essay, don’t write 4 pages.
Use Resources! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your teachers and parents can help you proofread your essay.
Guidelines for writing Thank You Letters
If you receive and accept a scholarship, please take the time to thank the donor. Our donors have a particular interest in helping SIU's students achieve their educational goals. Donors enjoy hearing from students and you can be certain that your letter will be appreciated.
Tips for Writing Content
Tell the donor something about yourself. Some suggestions: What is your major or intended major? Why? Where are you from? Where did you go to school? What are your main interests, academic and otherwise? Do you have a favorite course? What are your plans for life after Southern? Are you the first in your family to go to college? Do you have other family members who also attended Southern?
Mention the name of the scholarship and say thank you!
Take your time to prepare a thorough essay.
Handwritten letters add a personal touch but typed letters are acceptable. You may write in a pre-printed thank you card, if you prefer.
If you write your letter by hand, make sure that the writing is legible.
Proofread your letter.
If you use a computer, take advantage of the spell check and grammar check tools. If in doubt, ask for help.