Record-keeping and journaling as part of the scholarship process

Before the scholarship application process starts for a student, get involved in activities that will help practice the skills of record-keeping and journaling.

Taking the time to apply for a scholarship can be a challenge. Why? Some scholarship applications may have some challenging questions that an applicant needs to answer or may require an essay for the applicants to write. Knowing this, students need to learn how to write about their experience from the different activities that they participate in—inside and outside of school. It is important for youth to be involved in out-of-school activities for extended learning outside of the classroom. In addition to participation in the activities, students need to learn to journal their experience. According to Michigan State University Extension, this helps them to prepare to answer the questions on the scholarship applications.

It also helps to keep documents on file to help with the journal experience. Starting as a freshman in high school, students can begin to collect certain documents and write certain notes to help record their experience from a group or an activity in which they participated. Certain items students can collect include certificates from all activities, attendance records, report cards, and awards. Items that a student would use for a portfolio are documents to keep and may provide journaling content. gives five items students should have and keep up to date in a scholarship portfolio. They are:

  • Resume
  • Transcripts
  • Financial reports
  • Identification (birth certificate, passport, driver’s license and professional headshot)
  • Personal statement

Other items to consider may be copies of letters of recommendation and unofficial copies of SAT and ACT scores.

Students should write what they learned and determine their areas of improvement and growth from the experience in their school-related and out-of-school activities. Learning, improvement and growth are areas a student needs to learn how to write about for a scholarship application.

Students interested in higher education and seeking ways to help cover the costs of higher education can remember these steps:

  1. Get involved in in-school and out-of-school activities
  2. Keep all documentation (certificates, letters, etc.) from the activities 
  3. Take notes or journal about learning, improvement and/or growth as a result of participating in the activity

Take these steps to help be prepared for the scholarship application process, essay questions and for essays as well.

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