Getting an education after high school can be daunting task sometimes. For example, you may be concerned about paying for your postsecondary training. One way to receive financial support is landing a scholarship. There are, in fact, a number of scholarships out there for aspiring welders.
Are you concerned about paying for postsecondary education after high school? Most people are.
And most higher education, including trade school, isn’t cheap. But you’re not out of luck. Aspiring welders are as entitled to scholarships as anyone entering a more traditional professional field.
Applying for a welding scholarship isn’t hard, but doing it in a way that improves your chances of getting the funding you need involves several steps. Scholarship committees receive a lot of applications every year, and if you don’t stand out from everyone else, you won’t win it.
But being remarkable in comparison to all the other applicants isn’t undoable. This step-by-step guide will show you how to wow committees and get the scholarship.
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1. Choose the Right Scholarship(s)
Not all scholarships are the same. Many are available, aimed at different applicant groups and designed for different educational purposes.
You want to make sure that the scholarship you’re interested in covers your welding program of choice. You can usually find this information on the website of the scholarship granting organization. Look for the organization’s mission statement and check whether it fits your background and needs.
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, though. Consider applying for multiple scholarships to improve your odds.
In fact, we recommend looking in unusual places. Seriously—some unusual scholarships are out there.
2. Make Sure You Meet All Eligibility Requirements.
So you found a welding scholarship that’s a good match. Great! The next step is making sure you meet all their requirements.
Don’t waste time applying for funding for which you don’t qualify. Instead, make a list of those scholarships for which you do qualify.
For instance, there are scholarships for women, scholarships for low-income students, scholarships for minority students and scholarships for children of veterans. You might be eligible for several at once.
You might even want to consider creating another list with scholarships that you may apply for at a later time. For example, if you’re planning to enter a welding degree program as a first-year student, don’t apply for a scholarship that requires two years of welding experience. Get the experience, then apply later.
Check if the process includes submitting a Statement of Financial Need and/or a financial aid letter from your welding school. You should explain why you are seeking financial help and how you would benefit from a scholarship.
3. Write a Winning Personal Statement.
Almost every scholarship application requires a personal statement. You might dread the idea of writing one, but this statement is the chance for you to really stand out in the pile sitting on the selection committee member’s desk.
The best way to catch the committee’s attention is by making a connection between your background and a welding career:
- Are you fascinated by the scientific principles underlying the welding process?
- Are looking forward to a career where you can create things with your hands?
If you had any educational or personal setbacks, your personal statement is a chance to explain them. You can, for example, describe how you overcame any shortcomings and used them as an opportunity to grow.
Leave the committee with something positive to remember. Think of this statement as a sort of self-promotion. Get the reader to choose your “brand” over another, so to speak. Prove that you’re the right candidate.
4. Gather Letters of Recommendation.
Organizations that offer scholarships typically request letters of recommendation from applicants. Unless specified otherwise, you should acquire both professional and personal letters of recommendation.
Ultimately, you should designate the letter writer based on the scholarship. They should understand the award and why you deserve it.
Professional writers include:
Personal writers include:
- Community leaders
Make sure that the letters are as specific as possible to the scholarship. Your skills in debate, for instances, are less relevant than your exceptional talent for handicraft.
5. Meet the Application Deadline.
If you miss the final application deadline, you might have to wait another year before you can apply again.
Don’t expect any leniency if you submit your application a day late. It’s best to apply as early as possible to avoid the stress and chaos that comes with applying late. Applying early also gives you time to look for other financing options.
Scholarships mitigate the pressure of paying for school, and that means you get to put all of your mental energy into becoming the best possible welder you can be. Start looking for scholarships now, and you may start your training with a significantly lighter financial burden soon.
Learn more about scholarships at TWS for qualified students.