So we’ve covered what you need to know about scholarships and how to find great ones, but what about the next step? Actually applying for them! There is a lot of confusion surrounding scholarship applications; knowing what to look for, deciding on which to apply for and the right strategies to actually help you land them. Don’t worry – we’re going to cover it all below!
First things first! When searching for scholarships, it is important to clearly identify and consider these 5 items around each potential application:
WHO are you applying to? Consider the organization or company that you’re applying to.
WHEN is the deadline of the application?
DO I meet all of the qualifications for the given scholarship?
WAIT and read the instructions multiple times before applying.
CHECK and then submit all of the required information.
Next – Begin to look at scholarships, then fully read and capture the following information of each one in your scholarship spreadsheet:
Name of Scholarship
Deadline for Scholarship
Amount of Scholarship
Renewable – Yes/No
Requirements – i.e. application, resume, essay, recommendation, etc
Fit Field – a measurement of 1-10 based on how well the fit of the scholarship is for you.
Now you can prioritize opportunities:
Start with the scholarships that you’re the best fit for. You may need to filter through many options for determining which to spend your time on.
Focus on applying for renewable scholarship options. One and done is fine, but prioritizing a scholarship that you could receive again and again is more important.
Look at the amount of the scholarship. Start with options with a higher face value first, to maximize your time, instead of going for smaller options.
Once again, keep the deadline in mind. This is where the spreadsheet of scholarships you’ve applied for and their subsequent due dates will prove very helpful.
Consider the time it will take you to apply for the scholarship. Some applications are quick and some require a lot. Read through the instructions and requirements to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to submit everything on time.
Make sure to rank each option in the Fit Field category. Determine how well you fit with the potential scholarship and rank from there to place priority.
Now, you’re ready to apply:
Read, read, read! This may seem like a “duh” moment, but you would be surprised at the number of scholarships that are applied for incorrectly, simply because they failed to read the instructions thoroughly.
When working through the application, begin to highlight the key requirements like timeline, deadlines, and qualifications for the applicant.
Determine the type of scholarship right away, so you know what to expect from it.
Quickly identify the audience as well, so you know who you’ll be applying to.
Also, make sure to identify the type, focus, or purpose of the scholarship.
From there, develop a strategy based on the type and audience so you can successfully complete the essay portion.
Then, it’s just time to execute and submit.
Before you can though, make sure to once again, read, read, read and ensure you are meeting all requirements before submitting.
It’s also a great idea to get a second or third opinion before moving on to submission.
Now, it’s time to submit, on time, which means early! We suggest 5-7 business days before the deadline.
After submission, make sure to follow up and ensure the organization received your application as well.
Bonus! If you win the scholarship, don’t forget to follow the instructions to claim it!
Scholarships don’t have to be scary or intimidating. With the right strategy, you’ll rock your applications. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions and good luck!