If you are going to apply for a scholarship, and go through the process you have to be able to communicate, and receive communications, so here are some tips:
Good contact information
When you apply you need to put down good, accurate contact information. I would suggest that the most important piece of information you put in that application is a good email address. Do not put your firstname.lastname@example.org address down. If you have a professional email address established use it. If you don’t, get yourself a gmail or yahoo or hotmail account and use an appropriate handle. Something like first.last@XYZ.com is appropriate. I tried to email one of the applicants on my list yesterday, and the email got bounced back. Whether he just put down a bad email address, or he submitted a handwritten application that someone misread when they were transcribing the information into the system I can’t tell, and I probably won’t bother to find out, because I have over 90 applicants who took the time to make sure their information was correct.
Check your email daily
Cadet Command, DODEMRB, DODMETS, and individual battalions will contact you via email requesting information and providing updates. Once you get to college professors and student services will be contacting via email. If you aren’t checking daily you will miss things. I very seldom try to call on the phone because applicants are usually very busy people, and are very hard to catch at home. I usually get a response from an email (eventually).
This is where you go to establish an account and apply on line. You can also download a paper copy of the application. DO NOT submit a paper application, apply online. If you mail in your application you are only making it a little harder for the board members and others to see all your information. If you make it harder you reduce your chances.
Scan and Email
If at all possible you should submit information to Cadet Command by scanning and emailing. If you are relying on the postal service, or the fax machine at Cadet Command you are leaving a lot to chance. The most reliable way to submit information is to scan your document and email it to email@example.com . You will also be given a point of contact at Cadet Command. CC that person when you send in your information.
Approximately 10000 students apply each year. Everyone doesn’t get a scholarship. If we can’t contact you, your information is wrong, or you don’t get all your information in on time, there will be someone else who took the time to make sure we could contact them, and submitted their information on time. None of these tips are official Cadet Command guidance. They are my suggestions based on seeing this process over the past 6+ years. Cadet Command continues to allow you to apply using the paper application. They continue to allow you to fax information in. My experience tells me applying online, scanning and emailing, and using email to communicate with a ROO gives you the best chance at a scholarship.
Hope that helps…what do you think?