Tips For College


Financial Aid


National Testing


High Demand Documents and Materials:

  • Gather materials and information that you will need repeatedly for scholarship applications. They include the following: Transcripts, financial aid forms or copies of tax returns, resumes, letters of recommendation, copies of ACT score report, large manila envelopes and reports covers.


  1. Review the application to ensure that you meet the qualifications

  2. Have your application reviewed for typos.

  3. Make a copy of the application prior to mailing.

  4. Mail a week (or two) prior to the deadline.


  • The essay portion of an application is VERY important. It gives you the opportunity to express your opinion, emphasize your strengths and to distinguish yourself from the other applicants.

  1. Use the basic writing process for getting started by brainstorming your ideas. What are your future plans? What do you want to emphasize to the selection committee about yourself? Where are you going to school and what will be your major? Why did you choose this major? Focus on answering the essay based on what the committee is seeking. Do not be Generic. Make it personal!!!

  2. Have at least one person proofread your finished essay.

Letter of Recommendations:

  1. Request letters from teachers, employers, organizational leaders, etc, who can attest to your good character and abilities. Relatives are not the best choice. They may not appear as objective or credible.

  2. Submit a resume to the person who is writing the letter for you. They may not know ALL the activities you are involved in or your academic records.

  3. Don't send generic letters; e.g., "to whom it may concern". Tell your reference how they should address the letter; e.g., Dear Nellie Strissell Memorial Selection Committee.

  4. MOST IMPORTANT: Request the letter of recommendation AT LEAST 2 WEEKS in advance. It is not proper etiquette to ask someone to write a letter for you with little or no notice.


  1. Once again, please plan in advance. Do not request a transcript on the day it is needed. Request may be made to Mrs. Spinler or Carol. If you need a transcript you may also print them from Infinite Campus.

  2. Some scholarships require a 7th semester transcript. Check the application requirements before mailing. 7th semester transcripts will be available approximately a week after the first semester of your senior year.

  3. Don't forget to request a final transcript with your graduation date posted to be sent to the college you plan to attend. See Mrs. Spinler for official transcript request forms.

  4. If ACT documentation is required, submit a copy of the "student report", print it from the ACT site, or request it along with the transcripts.

Financial Aid Forms:

  1. Most need-based scholarships will request you to submit a copy of the FAFSA ( The Free Application for Federal Students Aid) as part of the process or current income tax returns.

  2. Please refer to the financial aid information section for additional information regarding the FAFSA and the financial aid process.

Additional tips:

  1. The scholarship application is a reflection on you. Appearance is important. Report covers, cover pages with a student photograph and title and any other additions to the application are at the discretion of the student.

  2. Do not add documents that have not been requested. Send only what the scholarship application asks.

  3. Check and recheck for typos! It's hard to proofread your own materials. Ask an adult or two to check your application and essay.

  4. Update or create a resume. Utilize the " My High School Record" worksheet to assist you in completing the honors, awards, sports, etc. information.  Activities, Awards, and Honors Template
  • Students may check North Star's School website at for a listing of available scholarships and deadlines.