How to Search and Apply for Scholarships
At this point you know how to write a scholarship. I’ve given you a blueprint to work with. Now it’s time to go scholarship hunting (Tweet This).
I’ll guide you on: 1) what to look for, 2) the award amount, 3) judging the feasibility of winning, and 4) timing to apply for scholarships. There are a lot of topics to cover. I will try to keep them brief. You can find links to scholarships at the bottom of this article. If you know of any scholarship resources, comment below. I would greatly appreciate it!
What to look for
Looking for scholarships can be a job in and of itself. To make things easier, try to look for scholarships in fields you’re interested in. It makes it easier to write on topics you like . For example, if I want to be an accountant and plan on getting my bachelor’s degree in four years. I would search for scholarships specifically for business and accounting. I would also search for scholarships that are the best reflection of my character. Make sure you read the description and instructions within the application. If the description and essay questions resonate with you, it’s a good pick!
Here are some steps that will help you with your search:
- Google: Scholarships for “_________” (i.e. students interested in business, biology students, architecture majors, etc.)
- Find the ones that are most possible to win (I elaborate more on this in “Judging the Feasibility of Winning”)
- Make a list showing: 1) the name of the scholarship, 2) the website of the application, 3) the amount of the award, and most importantly, 4) the deadline
- Schedule the deadlines in your calendar and set multiple reminders (Prioritize applying for the ones that have the closest deadline).
- For each scholarship found, download the application and save it in a file folder (the title of the folder should be the name of the scholarship. All of your documents will be in the same place for that particular application. Organizing your documents saves time!).
- Read the directions of the scholarship fully (know the amount, whether it’s renew-able or non-renewable, whether it’s annually or multi-year, etc.)
- Notify recommenders on the scholarships you will be applying for (I elaborate more on recommendations letters in Post #4).
- Write, Revise, Apply, Win!
Scholarships can range from as little as $250 to full rides (covering all your fees for school). When reading the scholarship description, ask yourself, “Will I have to re-apply each year? If I win this scholarship, can I re-apply and win again? Or is this a one time thing? What is the criteria I have to maintain to keep the scholarship?”
Feasibility of winning
You have to consider how many recipients are awarded the scholarship. Also, think about how many people apply for the $20,000-$40,000+ scholarships compared to the $1,000-$5,000. The more money awarded, the more competition you will face. This makes it harder for your story to stand out (check out my last post for more guidance). Looking at the description of the scholarship can help you determine the feasibility of a potential win. If the committee is looking for a student in their junior year with a 3.5 GPA studying biology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, don’t apply if you’re a sophomore with a 3.0 GPA studying mathematics at a community college in Colorado. You have a small chance of winning.
There’s most likely another scholarship you can search for that aligns closer to your qualifications. So what if there are absolutely no scholarships you can apply for? I highly doubt that. During my college years I applied for scholarships with less than a 2.8 GPA and still was able to find some. My search took longer, but I found several!
You only have so much time to apply within a deadline. I focused most of my attention on scholarships between the $500-$5,000 range. I didn’t want to write multiple essays for one scholarship. I made the mistake of applying for the Gates Millennium Scholarship, which required well over 5 essays alone! It took up so much time I could have applied for several scholarships instead. On top of that I knew it was going to be very competitive. I probably passed up 2-3 scholarships that I had a higher chance of winning.
Timing to apply
Remembering deadlines for scholarships is crucial. You have to fill out all the application forms, write and revise your essay(s), and mail your application (or submit online) by the deadline. Not to mention you may have to turn in your recommendation letters before the deadline as well.
How Does this Relate to Building Wealth?
What I have laid out is a guide/strategy in searching and applying for scholarships. In building wealth you must create a plan and truly strategize how to get there. Applying this article will help you establish a habit of making plans to build wealth.
I hope this blueprint helps! If you have any tips or approaches you’d like to make known please comment below! I can’t wait to hear from you! Don’t forget to check out the final post! Post #4: How to Win Scholarships
Edited by: N. Cusic
Big Scholarships ($20,000+)
Medium Scholarship ($7,500-$20,000)
Small Scholarships (<$7,500)