You know there are a million scholarships out there, but where do you begin finding the right one for you?
Starting your search can feel intimidating and staying on top of it all can be even more difficult. So, what’s the big secret? Organization is the key!
Here is a step-by-step list you can follow to keep your scholarship search organized and focused:
1. Make an Applications List
Create a list of the scholarships you’ve already found and would like to apply for, the scholarships you’ve already applied for and are waiting to hear back from and where you’d like to search for more scholarships. The point is to keep track of your progress so you don’t waste time working on anything you’ve already done and get easily reference past scholarships you’ve applied for if necessary.
2. Know Your Scholarship Resources
Create a file bookmarking the websites with scholarship information and scholarships you’d like to apply for. Keep your usernames and passwords in a safe spot so that you can access your profiles anytime you need to, as many of the sites update scholarship opportunities frequently. Look for scholarship opportunities offline, too. Many colleges post scholarship opportunities on bulletin boards on campus, near advisors offices and places where students gather. Scholarship books are also a great resource, as long as you ensure the information is not out of date.
3. Gather Application Materials
Detail your qualifications and eligibility for scholarships. This will make your future application processes a lot easier when you are applying for more scholarships. Collect all the materials you may need for applications such as written application essays, your school transcripts and letters of recommendation from teachers and guidance counselors and, if relevant, your FAFSA information. Keep your materials together so that you can refer to them whenever necessary during your application process, whether it’s in a computer file or an actual file folder.
Also, save all of your scholarship essays as you create them. While it’s not smart to reuse the exact essay, it’s much easier to edit an essay you’ve already written than start from scratch, especially if the essay questions are similar in nature and many of them will be.
4. Make a Deadline Calendar
Deadlines are crucial in the application process. Create a calendar that you can stick to detailing all of your scholarship application deadlines. Try to organize a schedule for yourself so that you can set dates for finishing you essay, submitting your paperwork, sending in your application, etc. Making a calendar with reminders for the last date of the deadline may be somewhat helpful but it will be far more beneficial to spread out the tasks and plan ahead. That way, by the time the deadline rolls around you’ve already submitted your application and don’t have anything to worry about.
5. Follow Through
Now that you’ve done all the work for when you’re going to apply, you need to actually apply. Make sure that you are mindful of all the criteria and apply for as many scholarships as you possibly can, because applying for scholarships is essentially a numbers game.
Remember, the more you apply for, the more likely your chances are of winning so apply early and apply often!
Follow these steps all the way to scholarship search success. Good luck with your scholarship search!