Applying for college scholarships can be a tedious task. But, with these tips, the process may become a bit easier.
Searching for college scholarships requires time and dedication. Set aside a specific time during the day to conduct the search and to start the application processes. Once you have a set time, stick to it so it can be a regular thing.
Applying for college scholarships can cause some stress, exhaustion, and frustration. Staring at a screen can cause discomfort and stress on the eyes as well. It is good to step away from the computer to rejuvenate yourself before starting up again. For example, get up and walk around, drink a glass of cold water, or eat a snack to give you more energy.
Scholarships for college students often require a lot of information. Keeping all your paperwork (like transcripts and letters of recommendation) together helps you to stay organized. It will also be easier to access when you need certain information for a specific part of the application. Staying organized also helps with keeping up with deadlines so that you can track the status of your applications.
You should also create an accomplishments resume which summarizes your major accomplishments, activities, interests, and any awards. You can give a copy of this to anyone you might be asking a reference from.
Some scholarship applications have deadlines, so be sure to search often, and apply for those with the earliest deadlines first. Be sure to apply early. One of the most important applications you will fill out is the FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which determines if college students are eligible for need-based and sometimes merit-based financial aid. Be sure to check with the schools you’re interested in to see if there are any additional applications you might need to complete for merit-based aid or scholarships.
Apply for as many scholarships as possible
Increase your chances of winning by applying for as many as possible (but don’t apply if you aren’t eligible). Smaller scholarships and essay contests are easier to win because they are less popular. Reuse essays to save time, but customize them for each new application. To avoid writer’s block, try answering the essay question out loud and transcribe a recording of the answer instead.
Proofreading your essays is very important in any situation, but especially when applying for college scholarships. It can be easy to overlook simple mistakes when you have been working for a long time. So, after you take a break, go back and proofread your work. Ask someone else to proofread the application for you, too.
Keep a professional online presence
Some scholarship providers require finalists to friend them on Facebook. Also, use a professional email address to make a good first impression.
Some scholarship providers are looking for red flags, like inappropriate pictures or comments, illegal activities, discriminatory remarks, or simply a negative attitude. Once you’ve gone through your social media accounts to make sure they’re clean, try Googling your name to make sure nothing inappropriate comes up. An unprofessional online appearance can cause you to lose a scholarship, since scholarship providers may worry about a student reflecting badly on the organization.
Read other success stories
Going online and reading other people’s scholarship success stories can keep you motivated in your application process. There are even articles that explain how to write a better scholarship essays. Do some of this research before starting your process each day to get you motivated. It also helps to write encouraging notes to yourself for when you start the day, and to keep you in a good mood throughout the day.
Don’t be discouraged
One of the hardest parts about applying for scholarships for college is waiting for the decision. If you do not win the first few, don’t let that get you down. It is just like applying for college. The waiting game is nerve-wracking, but as long as you did your best, there is nothing to be discouraged about. You must understand that it is very difficult to win scholarships and there are thousands of other applicants who won’t win as well. The most important thing is not to give up.
Applying for college scholarships does not have a time limit. I am an upcoming senior and I’ve been applying for scholarships throughout my whole college experience. Every little bit helps. So, when should you start applying for college scholarships? Now.
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