5– 4 – 3 – 2 – 1! That’s not just the countdown to the New Year; it’s the countdown to your scholarship search. If you’ve never applied to a scholarship – or haven’t applied to one in weeks, months or years – now is as good a time as any to change that. As the new year begins and you’re making resolutions, add “applying to scholarships” to that list as well. It will likely be one of the easiest resolutions you make – and keep – this year! While some scholarship applications require a great deal of time and effort, others just necessitate a few minutes of your time. With that, we recommend setting a scholarship resolution with yourself: apply to 52 scholarships this year. That’s just one scholarship a week, and you can devote as much or as little time as you may have available to apply to college scholarship opportunities. Here’s how you can get started: 1. Fill out or update your Fastweb profile. If you’re new to Fastweb, you’ve started at the right place. In just a few minutes, you can create a profile that will result in a list of scholarships for which you qualify. Just tell us a little about yourself, like your name and location, GPA and test scores as well as your graduation year and colleges of interest. After you’ve completed registration, you can beef up your profile by giving us some more details about your life. Where do you work? What extracurricular activities are you involved in? What are some of your career aspirations? The more you tell us, the more scholarships we can find for which you meet all of the scholarship requirements. Also, at Fastweb, we update our scholarship database on a daily basis. That means that every time you log in, there are new scholarships on your matches list for which you qualify. To better help us match you to scholarships though, we need your most up-to-date information. Have you moved, added new extracurriculars to your resume or improved your GPA? If so, we need to know! It’s best to update your profile on Fastweb every few weeks so that we’re aware of the changes and matching you to scholarships accordingly. 2. Log in to Fastweb at least once a week. As mentioned above, we’re constantly adding new scholarships to your matches list. You wouldn’t want to miss out on an opportunity that you have a good chance of winning so we suggest you visit Fastweb at least once a week to see what we’ve added to your list. Subscribe to our emails to get notifications of new scholarship matches as well as unique contests and promotions that can help you pay for college. Plus, if you’re hoping to apply to one scholarship each week, you’ll need to log into the site to see which scholarships are still open and available. 3. Commit to one scholarship application each week. Pick one scholarship from your matches each week for which to apply. It can be a simple scholarship that just requires you to fill out a form or a more lengthy application with an essay, letters of recommendation or an interview. Keep in mind that you have a better chance of winning scholarships that require more work, whereas easy applications garner more applicants. Though these scholarships require more work, they oftentimes have the biggest payoffs. Sometimes, though, you can expedite the process. Save essays from former scholarship applications and simply tweak them to fit a different scholarship if it’s applicable. When you ask mentors, teachers and coaches for letters of recommendation, ask them if you can make copies to use on multiple scholarship applications. With a vault of resources, you can ensure that you’re always prepared for a scholarship application that may require a little more work. Whatever you choose to do, remember that applying for scholarships is a numbers game. The more you apply to, the better your chances of actually winning. 4. Keep it up! If you miss a week, don’t get discouraged. Each week or each month is your chance to start fresh. Also, this New Year’s Resolution isn’t just reserved for high school juniors and seniors. Scholarships are available to all ages and years in school. If you’re a junior in college, an MBA candidate or a returning student, this challenge is just as relevant to you. Again, make sure your Fastweb profile is updated to reflect your year in school, location and any other characteristics that apply to you or your situation. If you’re looking for motivation, check out previous Fastweb Scholarship Winners. These are real Fastweb members who have won scholarships, both big and small, in order to pay for college. Also, keep a planner or journal dedicated to your scholarship journey. Record each scholarship you apply for and highlight any that you win. It’s also helpful to your scholarship search and application process to reach out to scholarship committees after you’ve lost a scholarship to see how you can improve your application. Though you may not get an answer, those one or two responses that you do receive will be worth it to help you become a better candidate. New Year’s Resolutions don’t have to be hard to keep – especially a resolution as easy as this. What’s more, you could reap real benefits, like extra money to pay for college, by committing to one scholarship application per week. Get started now or check out other expert tips to help you land a big scholarship win. Good luck – and Happy New Year!