Scholarships are an important source of funding for students attending any of the CAAHEP accredited ultrasound technician programs. Scholarships are different from other types of financial aid for sonography students because the funders consider factors like past school performance, the student’s demonstration of potential through grades and activities, and career planning. Every scholarship committee receives hundreds or thousands of student applications so it is important to submit the highest quality application possible.
Understand the Sonography Scholarship Requirements
Among the hundreds or thousands of scholarship applications are many that indicate the applicant did not read the requirements closely. As a result, the application is eliminated from consideration. Lack of knowledge about the requirements is easy to spot.
- Student does not meet the minimum requirements like G.P.A.
- Student is not planning on enrolling in an appropriate program like Diagnostic Medical Sonography or an Allied Health program
- The application is incomplete, indicating carelessness and lack of interest
- Deadlines were missed
- Application does not include required documentation like references, essay, school transcripts, letters of recommendation, proof of community service, etc.
Organizations offering scholarships for sonography students want to ensure the money goes to the most qualified scholarship applicant they believe is serious about pursuing a particular degree. To ensure the scholarship application makes it through the first round of review, Diagnostic Medical Sonography Students need to make sure the application follows the requirements exactly.
Think Through Career Plans
An essay is most likely required. The essay is a critical component of the scholarship application because it gives the student a chance to express a personal vision and mission concerning career goals. A poorly written, disorganized essay filled with grammatical errors or lacking thoughtfulness will only give the scholarship committee another reason to eliminate the application from consideration.
The essay will ask questions like the following:
- Why do you want to pursue a career as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (or major in a healthcare discipline)?
- How will the scholarship help achieve educational and career goals?
- Why should the scholarship be awarded to you?
- What are your career goals?
- What are the most important issues in the field of Diagnostic Medical Sonography?
- What do you believe you can contribute to the healthcare profession?
Sonographers are expected to have good oral and written communication skills to perform their jobs correctly. It is not surprising that scholarship committees consider the ability of the student to communicate in writing. The ultimate purpose of the questions is to give the scholarship committee a good feel for the student’s motivations and seriousness. It is important to carefully consider career goals and to clearly express the relationship of the scholarship to achieving those goals.
The applications also provide the scholarship committee with valuable information concerning student views of the sonography profession and the level of awareness of critical healthcare issues. If the application has a question about healthcare issues, the responses should be thoughtful and reflect a current knowledge of the industry or the sonography profession in particular.
Take Time to Do it Right
The characteristics of a quality scholarship application include:
- Neatly prepared
- Follows all requirements
- Includes a thoughtful essay
- Conveys a sense of passion for helping others
- Mailed in plenty of time to meet the application deadline
Many ultrasound students will ask other people to review the application and give feedback before it is submitted. Ideally, the people doing the review are working in the healthcare field and will give honest feedback.
No two scholarship applications are alike, but the ones most likely to be accepted give the scholarship committee a clear sense of the applicant’s motivation, dedication, and determination to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. Take the time to complete the application the right way, and it is much more likely to be approved.