Writing Your Application

The Basics

Carefully read the application instructions. Your application must meet the deadline, adhere to content guidelines, and conform to font requirements and page limits. Scholarship foundations and committees cannot make exceptions for late applications, including for letters of recommendation. Pay close attention to the deadlines (there may be different deadlines for different portions of the application) and essay parameters. If Syracuse University has an internal deadline before the national scholarship deadline, you must adhere to it in order to receive endorsement.

The Content

All nationally competitive scholarships ask a series of questions about your academic career and awards; your work, research or internship experiences; and your leadership. The application may ask for short answer or short essay responses. Whatever the format or the question, be sure to include the most important aspects of your career clearly and concisely. Ensure that the activities, work experience, and goals you choose to highlight align with the scholarship’s objectives and values. Proofread every portion of your application, and then proofread it again, before submitting it.

The Essays

You will be required to write one or more essays for your application. Most applications include a personal statement or a personal essay component. Read CFSA's advice for writing personal statements here. Be prepared to rewrite and revise your essays a dozen (or more) times! Share your essays with faculty and CFSA advisors. CFSA is available to help applicants through the revision process.

Letters of Recommendation

You will need at least two, and up to eight, letters of recommendation. Visit “Asking for Letters of Recommendation" for more information.


Be prepared to provide official transcripts from each and every institution you attended during your college career. Request official transcripts as soon as you decide to apply. You can request your Syracuse University transcript through MySlice:

  1. Sign in to MySlice
  2. Under “Student Services,” click on “My Academics”
  3. Click on “Transcript Request”
  4. Click on “Order My Official Transcript”
  5. Complete the form to send an official transcript to the recipient via email or mail. Note the method of delivery and the recipient required for your specific application.