Eligibility and Selection Criteria
Scholarships are usually based on academic merit or achievements, and grants are usually
based on financial need, but some awards use the terms interchangeably or combine
Most scholarships require minimum criteria to apply, but only award scholarships to
the most competitive applicants. Final scholarship selection criteria are usually
not predefined, but vary with the strength of each year's applicant pool.
The Application Process
Deadlines, eligibility requirements and application processes vary widely between
programs. Carefully review the deadlines and requirements for each scholarship. Some
scholarships, including some state aid programs from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) scholarships require applicants
to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA.
Explore all relevant scholarships to determine if you are an eligible and competitive
applicant, and then apply for as many scholarships as you can. The scholarship search
and application process takes time, but it can pay off. Students can receive multiple
scholarships as long as the combined totals don't exceed these limits.
- Carefully follow the deadlines and apply early.
- Carefully review the eligibility criteria to determine if you are eligible to apply.
- Carefully follow all instructions and complete the application.
- Essay Tips: Do research, stick to the word count, and carefully proofread to eliminate mistakes.
Build a narrative with a strong beginning, compelling middle, and an ending that clearly
responds to their prompt. Show, don’t tell, e.g., “I was a volunteer…” vs. “Though
the hours were tiring and the building hot, I loved seeing the smiling faces of the
people I helped through my volunteering efforts…”
- Purpose: Don’t spend time introducing yourself (your name is on the application). Instead,
focus on adding your personality throughout the essay to make it shine. Establish
your credibility, use imagination, and make your case using logic in the essay — help
the scholarship reviewer feel that they know you.
- Stay Positive! If you don't get a scholarship. Try other scholarships and try again next year.
TU Financial Aid Office Scholarship Unit
If you have general questions about how to apply for financial aid, please contact
our Financial Aid Office (FAO) at 410-704-4236 or finaid AT_TOWSON.
If you have questions about specific scholarship programs, please contact the FAO Scholarship Unit at 410-704-2647 or scholarship AT_TOWSON.