How to Prepare and Apply for a Scholarship in 4 Easy Steps


Welcome to the San Francisco Bay University’s Scholarship Series, where we dive deep into the hows and whys of scholarships and the opportunities they present. For instance, one question a student will be able to answer by the end of our series is how to get a computer science scholarship at a university in the USA! But more than telling you how to apply for it, we are going to advise you on the best ways to prepare. How will you stand out amongst your peers?

Did you know that over 1.7 million scholarships are awarded each year? At SFBU, we are proud to be among the number of colleges and universities that help students get the funds they need to get a higher education. Scholarships come in all shapes and sizes. But before we get into the nuts and bolts of applying for a scholarship, let's talk about how you should prepare.

1. Get that University Scholarship by Staying Organized

You are getting ready to make one of the biggest decisions in your life: going to college or university. You may be asking yourself, “If I want to get a computer science scholarship, how do I do it?” We use computer science as our example in this article, but you can apply for an SFBU scholarship in many of our programs. Still, before you do, it is important to always stay organized and don’t let your nerves get the best of you.

Yes, when you apply for a scholarship, you are doing so in conjunction with many other applicants. But don’t worry. Stay calm and focused and properly organize and prepare your materials. Staying organized is the key to putting your scholarship application together. You will be asked to prepare multiple documents for submission and verification. And since you are competing with other applicants, staying organized keeps you ahead of the game.

Whether it be your transcripts, or personal statements, everything must be well organized and ready for submission. Remember to have a comprehensive list at the ready with your volunteer involvement, extracurricular activities, and transcripts included. Consider creating a calendar with all your scholarship deadlines. Or you can rely on an app like Microsoft To Do, which will help you stay organized and on top of your required tasks.

2. What Should You Put in Your Scholarship Statement?

Your personal scholarship statement represents one of the most important aspects of your application process. It’s vital that you spend some time thinking about how to write your personal statement. You’ve got to do it in such a way that it properly expresses who you are and why you deserve the scholarship for which you apply.

A personal statement should also be well structured and written in a way that will make you stand out. It should paint a positive picture of you as a person, student, and potential scholarship recipient. Approach how you share this information from a storytelling perspective. Here are just a few questions to consider as you assess your personal statement:

  • What are your strongest personality traits?
  • Do you have attributes, qualities, skills, or talents that set you apart from other applicants?
  • Can you provide a list of what you consider major life accomplishments?
  • Why did you choose your area of study and what are your career goals?
  • How will the scholarship help you achieve your goals?

Also, consider breaking your personal statement into several manageable segments. Start with an introduction that grabs your reader’s attention. You can include family background or circumstances that impact your need for financial assistance here. Then construct the body of your statement out of a paragraph or two, discussing the bullet points above. Finally, create a conclusion and consider it your last chance to impress and persuade those on the Scholarship Committee.

3. When Should You Apply for a University Scholarship for Computer Science or Other Programs?

You’ve heard the saying: The early bird gets the worm. Only in this case, the worm happens to be a significant chunk of free money to help get you through your studies. Many scholarship winners will attest to the fact that an early application was critical to their success.

It is important to be aware of the timelines involved in a scholarship application process. At SFBU, we operate on a semester system, thus, an early application is as soon as the application window is open. For example, SFBU opened our spring applications on April 5th, and the deadline to submit the application is Oct 15th. As such, students who want to make the best impression first should have their scholarship applications ready on or shortly after April 5th. So, if yours isn’t already in, get it in now!

Scholarships of all varieties are not infinite. Universities in California - and elsewhere - have a specific amount of scholarship funding available. That way, the earlier you apply, the more likely you’ll be to receive the scholarship award you want.

4. Specific Steps Involved with Applying for an SFBU Scholarship

At SFBU, we offer several scholarships. They include:

  • President’s Scholarship for California Community College (CCC) Transfer Students (Bachelors)
  • President’s Scholarship - Bachelor's Degree (100% Tuition)
  • President’s Scholarship - Master's Degree (100% Tuition)

To learn more about each of these scholarships, simply visit the scholarships and grants section of our website. Applying for a scholarship has three steps since the application is integrated with the application for admission. Applicants don't need to apply separately or after they have been admitted. We combine the process.

The steps are easy:

  • Select the scholarship option you want to apply for when you complete your online application.
  • Then you will need to upload your scholarship personal statement.
  • The Scholarship Committee will review your application and you will be notified.

It really is as simple as that. There are no complicated steps or tough hoops to jump through. San Francisco Bay University is proud to provide 100% tuition assistance scholarships for students in the United States and around the world. And we invite you, before you begin your scholarship application process, to take a virtual tour of our campus!