Aviation scholarships are one of the best forms of financial aid for aspiring aviation mechanics. Although the prospect of applying for scholarships can be daunting, with some preparation and determination, the process can be straightforward and rewarding! Be sure to incorporate these helpful tips for finding and applying to aviation scholarships.
1) Search Early and Everywhere
Aviation scholarships are available in various places, such as charities, corporate giving policies, and local community foundations. It’s imperative to start searching for aviation scholarships as soon as possible. Scholarships are announced throughout the year – don’t miss out on one because you began searching too late!
If you’re already an NAA student, the NAA Career Services department is available to assist you in searching for scholarships. Career Services staff can assess your skills, traits, and extracurricular activities to recommend eligible scholarships! Additionally, take a look at a a collection of available aviation scholarships curated by NAA here!
After finding applicable scholarships, use a spreadsheet to keep track of key points like award values and deadlines.
2) Gather Your Important Information
Once you have found several scholarships you are eligible for, you may notice that many of them require similar points of information. We recommend compiling all relevant information that scholarships commonly ask for, such as:
- Personal interests and passions
- Extracurricular activities
- Career interests
- Past hardships
- Academic accomplishments
- Personality traits
- Previous education
3) Create a Compelling Essay
While not all aviation scholarship applications require an essay, many do! Before the scholarship application process, brush up on your writing skills. Essays offer applicants a chance to show off their individuality and elaborate on their personal skills, separating good applicants from great ones! Writing is a skill with limitless lessons and tips, but here are a few essential ones for scholarship essays specifically:
- Stick to the prompt – Each application will ask for something slightly different. It can be tempting to talk about everything about yourself, but staying on an application’s requested topic is more effective and compelling.
- Do not just repeat your resume or CV – Simply reiterating what is already clear on your resume wastes the reader’s time. Use essays as an opportunity to say something creative that a quick 1-page resume cannot!
- Create a “template” essay – To save time, create an essay template for yourself that you can tailor to each application. This will allow you to spend more time proofreading and researching.
4) Request Letters of Recommendation Early
Letters of recommendation are common requirements of school, job, and scholarship applications. These letters are typically written by teachers, counselors, or professional peers to recommend your performance or academics. An impressive letter of recommendation can set an applicant apart from their peers.
It’s best practice to ask for these letters of recommendation from your chosen individuals as soon as possible! A well-crafted letter of recommendation takes time to write, especially for teachers or counselors writing many letters.
Here are some other common points of etiquette when asking for a letter of recommendation:
- Prepare a resume as a guide for the writer
- If possible, ask in-person first
- Thank the writer after receiving the letter
5) Do All “Optional” Work
If a scholarship application asks for “optional” additional work like a personal essay or letter of recommendation, submit them! Completing this extra work can only help you and show off your determination. Not all students complete optional tasks, so submitting anything already puts an application on the right foot forward.
For scholarship search resources, answering optional questions increases an applicant’s odds of finding eligible resources.
Ready to Begin Your Aviation Maintenance Career?
Aviation scholarships are out there, and your career awaits you! Once you’re ready to pursue a rewarding career in aviation maintenance, get in touch with NAA by filling out the form below.