How to Organize Your Scholarship Search

By Brittany Loeffler on February 21, 2020

College is expensive. It’s a fact. But it doesn’t have to be! When you receive a scholarship, or even two, you can decrease your cost of college, which means less stress on you once your student loan payments kick in. However, with so many different scholarships out there, it can be overwhelming while applying to so many.

To ensure that you optimize your time and are efficient while applying for a scholarship, here are some tips on how to stay organized and make sure you get your applications in on time.

scholarship

via Unsplash

Finding a Scholarship

When someone tells you to apply for a scholarship, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are thousands of scholarships out there for a variety of reasons and qualifications. To being your scholarship search, make a list of all the activities you are involved in such as sports, organizations you belong to such as volunteering or religious institutions, the major you plan to pursue, and your interests. These are a great place to start your search. From here, you will be able to find even more that you can qualify for.

Create a Spreadsheet

The best way to organize your scholarship search is to create a spreadsheet. You should have columns for the name of the scholarship, how you qualify, how to apply, the application deadline, and the status it. This will make it easy to view just how many scholarships you’ve found, how many you have applied to, and how many you are working on applying to at the moment. This will be a lifesaver when you apply to so many that you forget about certain ones to follow up on.

Mark Your Calendar

Now that you’ve found the scholarships that you qualify for and plan to apply to, it’s time to mark the deadlines on your calendar. While putting the deadlines in your spreadsheet is helpful, it’s still easy to forget them in all that jumble of information.

The best way to make sure that you do not miss an important deadline is to set reminders on your calendar or your phone. You should first set a reminder for a week before the application is due. This allows you to get started if you haven’t already. The next reminder should be two days before because there are bound to be procrastinators out there. The last reminder should be the day that it is due.

Prioritize Your Scholarships

We’ve discussed that there are many types of scholarships out there. That means that they all have different values. When it comes to applying for scholarships, you’ll want to prioritize which ones you most qualify for and offers the most money. This will increase your chances of getting as much money as possible.

Depending on what works for you, you can organize your spreadsheet by the priority of each scholarship or by their due date. If you choose to organize it by the due date, then you should also make a separate spreadsheet with the top five scholarships you plan to apply to.

Keep Your Scholarship Essays

You’re going to spend a lot of time writing scholarship essays when applying to different ones. While it’s never a good idea to reuse an essay, it’s good practice to keep all of the essays that you have written because you can go back and revise them for a particular scholarship. You may also be able to piece two essays together or reuse a line that you are particularly proud of.

This will help you become more efficient while applying to scholarships and save you time.

Set Time Aside

The most important thing when organizing your scholarship search is to actually put time aside to apply to them. If you put in the work to find scholarships and organize them it becomes a waste if you don’t actually take the time to submit your application. Just like with sports or doing homework, you should schedule a time where you focus solely on applying to scholarships. Even if you spend two or three hours a week working on this, it will put you ahead of other students who are not as organized.

Let’s Get Organized

There is no reason not to apply for a scholarship. It’s free money! However, it’s important to stay organized while doing so because you may miss important deadlines or forget about a scholarship entirely. Once you have found scholarships you qualify for, input them in a spreadsheet so you can view them all at a glance. Set up reminders on your calendar for when your application is due for each one. Lastly, make sure to prioritize which scholarships you want to apply to the most. This could be the ones that you most qualify for or that offer the most money.

Now that you’re organized, go get some free money!

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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