Each year, DECA awards over $200,000 in scholarships to deserving high school and college members thanks to the generous support of our National Advisory Board members and corporate partners. Many of these scholarships are offered exclusively to DECA members to help them pursue their next level of education.
Here are five tips to help take the stress out of applying for DECA scholarships:
1. Start the process now.
The deadline for scholarship applications is January 15, 2021. This date may seem far away, but between navigating virtual or hybrid classes, the holidays and winter break, January 15 will be here sooner than you may think! Do yourself a favor and start now so you’ll have adequate time to perfect your application. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.
2. Request letters of recommendation early.
Think carefully about who you will ask to write your letters and choose people who can speak to your strengths and ability to overcome your weaknesses. Give your recommenders no less than two weeks’ notice—more is even better—so they have time to write a strong letter. Be prepared to provide them with additional information about yourself and the scholarship. Make sure to follow-up with your recommenders as needed.
3. Sing your own praises.
Your scholarship application is not the place to be humble. Include all the DECA activities you’ve been involved with, the leadership positions you’ve held and your accomplishments to increase your chances for scholarship success! Don’t ignore the little things—you’d be surprised how quickly they can add up!
4. Don’t do it alone.
Ask a trusted friend, family member or advisor to review your application to save you the potential embarrassment of unnecessary typos or mistakes. Often, others can notice things about your writing that you have trouble seeing, like being too repetitive, including unnecessary information or not being engaging.
5. Look for opportunities that are specific to you.
With scholarships from a wide range of corporate sponsors, your affiliation or interest with a certain company or industry could help increase your chances of receiving that scholarship. For example, if you help operate an SBE that sells Otis Spunkmeyer products, then be sure to apply for the Otis Spunkmeyer Scholarship; if you are an associate of Publix, apply for the Publix Scholarship.
Apply today and take advantage of these scholarship opportunities offered exclusively to DECA’s members. Get more information and start your application now.
As DECA’s director of sponsorships, Cindy’s responsibilities include developing corporate partnerships and serving as the liaison between DECA Inc. and its partnering organizations. Cindy also manages DECA’s scholarship program, coordinates advertising and exhibits, and works with special event fundraising activities. Cindy has worked for DECA since 1991.