Understanding What Documents are needed for Scholarship Application

Documents needed for a successful scholarship application


Getting a college scholarship is as much an art as it is a science. There are so many variables that go into the decision, from the type of award to the eligibility requirements to the essay topic.

Having a great GPA and SAT scores won’t get you everywhere when it comes to getting a scholarship. It’s important to remember that these people are trying to figure out if you’re someone they want to hand money to for the rest of your academics. That means you need to be ready with a killer application packet if you want any hope of getting one of these things.


With so many different types of scholarships out there, that also means being prepared for each one separately. You might need different documents for each application or even have different parts asked in separate applications depending on how specific the award is.


Here is a list of documents and information that may be required by some scholarships:


Whether or not an organization requires certain things from its applicants varies from scholarship to scholarship. Some require application essays, while others ask for proof of general or GRE test scores. Read the description thoroughly before beginning the application, so there aren’t any surprises later on that could make or break your chances of winning the award.


Documents needed for a successful scholarship application 


When applying for a scholarship, there are certain required documents you must provide so that you will be considered for the scholarship program. Although each school has specific documents they expect you to submit while applying, I will be listing and explaining the general required documents.


  1. Complete Application form


This is the most important document needed to even be considered for a scholarship program. Make sure you fill in your application form well and correctly. Never leave any space empty, even if it is optional, as that optional space might be what will give you an edge over others while applying. Cross-check your application form after filling it out so as not to submit any wrong detail. Make sure spaces you will be asked to write paragraphs on something be unique. When done, ensure to submit it. If not, your details won’t even be sent to them.


  1. National ID or copy of passport


You will provide a copy of your passport, and it has to be valid for more than six months after our departure. Just the copy of the main page that has your photo and personal details is enough. Your national ID is also required, along with your passport.


  1. Copies of educational documents or transcript


The next required document while applying for the scholarship is your educational documents o transcript. This includes your degrees, diploma, or transcripts. The required copy should be arranged in a chronological order with your application. Everything counts when applying for a scholarship, so you should know that the way you also arrange your documents will be considered.


Note: These educational documents you are submitting should have an original stamp and signature of your academic institution authorities.


Another important educational document required is your result on language proficiency. This document is so important that if you fail to include it, your chances of being considered for the scholarship program are limited. The most common language proficiency exam is for the English language, as most universities teach their students in the English language. However, different countries may ask for their language proficiency exam results.


Here is a list of some of the language proficiency exam documents required:


For English language: TOFEL, IELTS, or Cambridge

Spanish: DELE

German: TestDAF, OSD, DSH or telc

French: DALF or DELF


  1. Statement of purpose (SOP) or letter of motivation


Another important document to be included in your application is your “Statement of purpose” or your “Letter of motivation.” This makes your purpose for applying for the scholarship program known to the admission committee. This letter should also state what motivated you to apply for the scholarship program, as well as your objectives, goals, areas of interest, aptitude, etc.


You should explain all these within 400 words. Your motivation letter should answer the questions directly and be presented in a unique way. Do not forge any information; keep it real and focus on writing why you are interested in that particular scholarship program.


  1. Letter of Recommendation (either one or two)


Letter of recommendation being submitted is usually one, but there are times when your desired school will ask you to provide two. This letter gives the scholarship committee an idea of who you are. It tells your motivational and intellectual skills for your academic program. It can also state your qualities and skills and show your desire for the degree, course, and university you selected.


You should submit your letter of recommendation as required by the scholarship program. Ensure to check how many letters of recommendation are required. Your supervisor or teacher should also submit a letter of recommendation since it gives the admission committee more information on your academic abilities and achievement. In cases where you are asked for work experience, a letter of recommendation should come from your employer or the person that supervised your work.



  1. Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume


Your curriculum vitae (CV) or resume should be submitted with your other documents for it to be a good scholarship application. Your CV or resume gives more detailed writing on your interest and skills. Ensure you do not forge or exaggerate your qualities in your CV or resume. Focus more on writing your acquired skill like academic skills, computer skills, proficiency skills, or field-related mastery skills. This will get you noticed by the scholarship board.


Do not worry if you don’t have any professional or work experience as at the time you are writing your CV or resume for your scholarship application. You can just put in your hobbies, achievements, social skill, and interest. Don’t forget to include your fluency in more than one language if you are good at it, and also the courses you’ve completed, especially if it’s in relation to your desired course, volunteered works you’ve done, etc.


  1. Standardized Test Scores Document


Standardized test scores are always among the required documents for scholarship application. These test scores are important factors that the scholarship board also looks into when selecting successful candidates for the scholarship award. You are expected to pass these tests and score high if possible, as preference will be given to those with the highest scores. Note that just this standardized test score won’t be used for selecting successful applicants. Every other submitted document will be put into consideration. Some of the standardized tests are; SAT, GRE, and ACT.


  1. Study plan or research proposal


Applicants for doctoral degree scholarship programs are usually required to submit their research proposal, while those applying for master’s scholarship programs are mostly required to submit their study plan essay along with other required documents.


Additional required documents


It is worthy of note that some institutions or universities can ask for some additional documents while applying for a scholarship program there. These required documents may include;


  1. Writing a scholarship essay.


Some institutions may ask you to write an essay on topics relating to the scholarship program. You should write the required number of words asked and try to state the academic achievements that made you apply for the scholarship.


  1. Portfolio


If you intend to apply for any art, design, or related course, you may be asked to submit a portfolio. The portfolio to be submitted describes your GPA score in regard to your degree.



  1. Your parent’s financial statement, including tax returns


Most scholarship programs offer this award to people who are not financially strong to further their education, so to prove this, your parent’s financial statement will be required. Their tax return is also required. This will, in turn, give the board the estimated income of your parents, which will also be one of the criteria for selecting candidates to be awarded.


  1. Medical certificates


Your medical certificates or health reports are also necessary documents to be submitted so as to be eligible to apply for the scholarship. A government hospital or a registered medical practitioner has to issue this certificate.


You should submit two, one in your national language, and the other one should be translated into the language of the country you are applying to. The translated copy must be translated and authorized by a certified translator.


If you provide all the documents required by the scholarship committee, then you are one step closer to being among the selected applicants for the scholarship program.


Final tips before you submit your scholarship application and documents


  • Once you have gotten all your document ready for submission and you have filled out your application form, go through these final tips before you submit.


  • Check all your documents thoroughly for grammatical errors or spelling mistakes so as to avoid a first bad impression.


  • Never write more than the expected word limit noted in the application form.


  • Only the document the scholarship board or institution requires should be submitted.


  • Keep a photocopy of all required documents for your safety.


  • Always submit your application form and document before the deadline so as to avoid automatic rejection.




Applying for a scholarship means you have to submit lots of documents. No matter how many documents your desired institution request, make sure you submit all of them before the deadline. Ensure you follow the rules while applying and submit all documents appropriately. Doing this will give you an edge over other applicants, and who knows, you might be lucky to be among the selected candidates that will be awarded the scholarship program.


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