Interview with Leigh Marlow - International Scholarship & Tuition Services, Inc.

1. Review the Application Early
As soon as you find out about a scholarship program or as soon as the application is available, review the eligibility requirements of the program and the entire application. When reviewing the application, consider whether you have easy access to the information required or if you will need to spend time collecting the necessary documents. Also determine if you must provide any supporting documents and verify whether the application asks for letters of recommendation, evaluations, certifications or other similar materials.

2. Request Transcripts Early and Respect the Time of Your Recommenders
It is important to request college/university transcripts and high school records in a timely manner. Make sure you’re providing the institution with ample time to meet your request. If you are prompted to submit an electronic copy of your transcript, assume the sponsor expects you to open sealed transcripts to scan them. 

When your application requires that a third party submit a letter or form on your behalf, make your request well in advance of the application deadline. While you may have someone who is happy to recommend you, show them you appreciate their contribution by asking for it early so they can make time in their schedule to give you a positive and detailed recommendation.

3. Take Responsibility for Your Application
No one knows your qualifications better than YOU. Ensure your application is accurate and complete the process sooner by taking the time to complete the application for yourself. Asking a family member, counselor or anyone else to work on your application may prevent the selection committee from fully comprehending how much you’ve achieved academically or how involved you’ve been in community service and extracurricular activities. Presenting yourself genuinely in your application improves your standing with a selection committee.

4. Know How To Check Your Application Status
Check your program materials for instructions to check the status of your application. All ISTS applicants can easily check their status on their application profile. Other sponsors may send you update e-mails as each application requirement is met. No matter the method of communication, know if the program offers you the ability to check your status.

5. Assume Deadlines are Final 

All applicants are expected to follow the directions of the application and meet the requirements of the program. Keeping timelines firm helps the selection committee thoroughly review all applicants and enables the sponsor to communicate with all applicants within published timelines.
Good luck with your applications!