Successful entrepreneurs never go it alone. They build a team to help them achieve their company’s vision and mission. As a scholarship hunter, your vision is to graduate from college debt-free. Your mission is to win scholarships. The bigger your team is, the faster and easier you’ll achieve both. As the old saying goes, “Many hands make light work.”
Start by creating a Scholarship Team of people who can help. You’ll need to collect email, phone numbers, and mailing addresses for people you want on your team. Begin with those closest to you and work your way out.
People you’ll REACH out to include:
Relatives—Parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins
Employers—People you have worked with during summer jobs, internships, or where you have volunteered for community service
Advisors—Guidance Counselors in high school, trusted family friends, mentors, tutors
College—Faculty, Academic Advisors, Admissions Officers, Deans and their Administrative Assistants, Financial Aid Office staff, Residential Life Supervisor, Campus Activities Office for clubs and organizations you belong to or plan to join
High School—Favorite teachers, coaches, Principal, Vice Principal
Begin by writing a short-but-sweet email explaining your vision and mission and asking for their help. Be sure to send the email from your new scholarship email address (You’ve set one up, right?). When they respond, they’ll automatically be added to your contact list. Start with your relatives and customize each email with their name and tweak the text. Here’s an example:
To: Mom & Dad
I’m grateful to have had your support over the years. You’ve helped me tremendously as I moved toward attending college. Now it’s my turn to support you. I don’t want to burden you with the cost of my college education. I’m dedicating myself to finding and applying for scholarships to ease the financial stress you must be feeling. I am devoting ## hours a week to research and apply for scholarships for <insert your school, major, and keywords from your list>. I’ve started by creating a scholarship portfolio of all the documents I’ll need to apply. That’s the easy part.
The challenge is to find scholarships where I meet the eligibility requirements. And that’s where I still really need your help. Would you email me any links to scholarships you find? Can you email your friends to let them know I’m looking for scholarships too? Do you know if your employers offer scholarships for children of their employees? Do you belong to any professional organizations or unions that also offer scholarships?
Thanks for being a part of my Scholarship Team and helping me achieve my dream of graduating from college debt-free!
You can modify this email and send it to other relatives, your employers, advisors, college and high school contacts. Remember, you want to state your mission and vision because these are admirable goals that not only impress people, but make them WANT to help. Remember to send thank you emails when people reach out to help you. Responding lets them know you received their email and appreciate their support and scholarship links. This encourages them to continue sending your leads.
Many scholarship committees require up to 3 letters of recommendation. If you’re in need of recommendation letters, the people on your Scholarship Team can help (except for your relatives). Your employers, volunteer organizations, advisors, college and high school contacts are great people to ask.
My apologies to you, dear readers, for not blogging last week. I spent my Spring Break stuck in bed with pneumonia. I’m feeling much better and hope you’ll send me your scholarship questions. Next week, I’ll begin answering your questions on this blog. If I choose your question, you’ll receive a free copy of “How to Find and Win Scholarships.”