Welcome Back Missouri State Bears! In my first blog post for the semester, I have a confession to make: I’ve never applied for the Missouri State University Foundation Annual Scholarship until this year. I’m writing this post to advise all who are reading to apply. Don’t make the same mistake I did!
What is the Missouri State University Foundation Annual Scholarship?
According to MSU’s Foundation Scholarship page, “The Missouri State University Foundation Annual Scholarship Application automatically applies students for nearly 1,000 donor-funded scholarship opportunities at Missouri State University for the 2024 – 2025 Academic School Year.” The application is available from November 1, 2023 – April 1, 2024. All current undergraduate and graduate students, as well as all incoming freshmen, transfer students, and graduate students starting at Missouri State University in Fall 2024 are eligible to apply. Something important to note is that the application is for “Donor-Funded Scholarships at Missouri State University only. It is not for University, State, or Federally funded financial aid.” To access the application students will login to My Missouri State University and locate the “Financial Aid and Scholarship” card. Students can click the “MSU Foundation Scholarships” link to access the form. The Application Deadline is April 1, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.
Why I Didn’t Apply for the MSU Foundation Scholarship and Why I Wish I Did
As I confessed at the start of the post, this was my first year applying for the scholarship despite being able to able to apply for the past three years. I hadn’t heard of this scholarship opportunity as an incoming freshman so I want to ensure that others are aware that opportunity is available. For the following years, the university did a great job advertising the information and making it publicized and this is where I told myself the lie that too many students would apply and I wouldn’t stand out. The reality is that while a majority of the student body does apply for the scholarship, a wide range of criteria increases the opportunity for students to benefit. Examples of criteria that factor into the application are the applicant’s “major, high school attended, outstanding academic achievement, leadership and/or financial need.” Something else I had assumed before even opening the application was that the application would take a long time to complete. This year I opened the application over the holiday break so that I could sit down and focus on the task. What I found was that students can save progress on the application as they go so it can be broken down into smaller parts and done over time without losing your work. A progress bar was included at the top of the page which I found to be helpful motivation. After completing the application, I learned the process does not take long at all and that if you divide the requirements into smaller sections it becomes much easier to tackle.
Tips When Completing the Application
The biggest tip I have when filling out any scholarship application is to have an updated running list of all of your accomplishments, skills, grades, and leadership experiences. Remembering what all you’ve done or discerning what is worthy enough to go into an application can be tricky but I found talking it out to be helpful. The Success Coaches and Peer Mentors in the CAST office are a great resource before writing your application. Meeting with a coach or mentor can help you map out what experiences to write about and help name skills you might not have known you even had. Recommendation letters are always a good piece to include in a scholarship application but can be uncomfortable to ask for if it is your first time. Coaches and mentors can also help guide you in writing a request for a recommendation letter or brainstorming who to ask for one.
If there is one thing that I’ve learned about this process, it is that I wish I had done it sooner. If you are reading this and you haven’t filled out the application, I strongly encourage you to do so. If you have already completed the application or you’ve started the process, pat yourself on the back and direct others to this post to encourage them to do the same.
[Information found on the MSU Foundation Scholarship page ]
(Bio: My name is Aubrey Hardy, a junior studying special needs education. Fun fact: I grew up on a farm.)