Navigating the Scholarship Application Journey

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Did you know that UAF offers hundreds of scholarships every year, totaling more than $4 million annually? The best part is that it’s a single application that will apply you to several opportunities! You’ll be automatically matched with scholarships for which you meet the criteria. There are awards based on merit, financial need, outstanding achievement in specialized fields, or any combination of these criteria, and they’re available to part-time or full-time students, undergraduate and graduate students as well as all majors.

Navigating the scholarship application journey
Ajiel Mae Basmayor, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, listens to class speaker Jessica K. Obermiller during the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ 97th commencement ceremony Saturday, May 4, 2019, at the Carlson Center.

How to apply

It’s super easy! Log in to the General Scholarship Application System with your UA username and password, and complete the application. The general scholarship has three main questions requiring a response of 50-500 words. 

Here are the general application essay questions: 

  • Tell us about your educational and career goals.
    • Tip: Explain your choice of career and what qualifications, skills, and talents you feel you have for your chosen field. Did someone help direct you on this path? How do you plan to use your education in the future?
  • Tell us about your activities outside of the classroom.
    • Tip: This could include things like volunteer work, sports, clubs, leadership roles, family activities, hobbies, employment, or cultural activities.
  • Tell us anything else that you would like the scholarship selection committees to consider when evaluating you as a scholarship candidate.
    • Tip: This could include things like your financial situation, your family or cultural background, honors and awards you have received, challenges you face or have overcome, personal accomplishments, or anything else you believe is relevant.

Once your general scholarship is complete, you might be presented with other opportunities based on a variety of factors (such as your major or whether you are active duty military, for example); these may have additional essay requirements. If you need some guidance on how to write a good scholarship essay, check out our blog post.

Fill out the FAFSA

One other suggestion to be the most successful in scholarship applications is to fill out the FAFSA, even if you think you are not eligible for aid (there are NO income restrictions!) or do not intend to take out any federal student loans. There are some scholarships that you will not be considered for if you do not have a FAFSA on file, even if the scholarship is not need-based. It is free and fairly easy to apply for the FAFSA, and our Financial Aid Office can help you through the process. Find out more about completing the FAFSA.


  • Nicole Balazs

    Enrollment Counselor
    Nicole grew up in eastern Nebraska and received a bachelor’s in Animal Ecology Interpretation from Iowa State University. During her time at ISU, she went on a semester exchange to UAF during Spring 2006, and decided to move to Fairbanks for good in the spring of 2008. Nicole started working at UAF in 2012, and earned a Master’s in Applied Linguistics from UAF in 2020. When not working, Nicole enjoys cross country skiing, fat biking, quilting, and spending time with her husband and two Bernese Mountain Dogs.

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