Having recently graduated, I can say that it took hours, weeks, and months of dedicated work to search out the scholarships for which I was eligible. I searched through my lender resources, school resources, the local library, and online. Years later, I still get spam emails from the online searches I conducted. (TIP: Set up a dummy email account for researching scholarships.)
When I found a scholarship, the next steps were to:
- Complete the Application (online or on paper),
- Write a Personal Essay (in Word and online),
- Obtain Letters of Recommendation (scan into PDF files too),
- Current Resume (in Word and as a PDF), and
- Assemble my college Transcript (also scan this into a PDF file).
Oddly, this took less time than tracking down scholarships.
So, why aren’t students applying for scholarships? Why do so many scholarships go unawarded?
- They can’t find legitimate scholarships
- They don’t have the time available to research scholarship opportunities
- They think they won’t qualify
- They think there’s too much competition
- They don’t think they have the time it takes to apply
- Scholarship deadlines conflict with midterms or finals
The first two reasons are true for most students. However, these issues are eliminated with the upcoming eBook series “Scholarship Opportunities.” The second two reasons (#3 and #4) are unfounded, as so many scholarships are not awarded due to a lack of applicants. As I said before, the time it takes to apply is substantially less than it does to conduct the research. Each time you apply for a scholarship it gets easier and faster. You’ve already assembled many of the requested documents (PDF, Word docs, hard copy) so it’s just a matter of uploading or mailing. You’ve written essays and personal statements that you can cut-and-paste to create customized versions tailored to the next scholarship opportunity. In spite of deadlines falling during midterms or finals, if you have the documents ready and in multiple formats, you will be able to respond to a scholarship opportunity immediately.
So, don’t be intimidated. Look at the eligibility requirements and if you meet them, apply!