Let’s just get it out of the way now by stating the obvious: college is expensive!
Here’s another obvious statement that makes the first even more
complicated: nobody likes owing money!
Unfortunately, finding the best ways to pay for it and
stay out of debt can be a confusing process and very time consuming.
The good news is that there are plenty of scholarships out there that you can apply for even before you start filling out those college applications.
In fact, there are so many that it can be hard to weed through which ones are right for you, and it’s often overwhelming.
Staying motivated in applying for scholarships can be really difficult, especially when they don’t always come through.
I know that the scholarship search and application process can seem pointless at times. You’re filling out the same information over and over again, putting time and effort into responses, and then not hearing anything. I’ve felt this way myself on many different occasions.
Applying for scholarships is a time consuming and frustrating business, but it is
I have discovered several different methods that help me to keep my focus on applying to as many scholarships as I can and, hopefully, they’ll work for you, too.
Here are eight things you can do to stay motivated in your scholarship search:
• Ask people for help with proofreading your applications and essays.
After staring at the same words or a blank page for hours, it’s really easy to overlook edits or ideas. I usually ask my mom or someone else I trust to help me read through my essays to make sure I don’t make silly mistakes that can be easily fixed.
What makes perfect sense to the writer might not always be as clear to the reader, so it’s good to get a second or even third opinion to make sure you get your point across in the way you want.
• Pick up a book at the store or read online articles.
I take a lot of inspiration and become more motivated when I read about the success or challenges other people have had and have overcome.
I found a book about how to write better scholarship essays at my local book store, and it has really helped me identify exactly what I’ve been doing wrong and what I need to do to fix it.
• Make a list or keep a reminder of what motivates you.
It sounds cheesy, but it really does help. Keeping a list that doesn’t only say what you want to do, but why you want to do it, can help you keep the perspective you need to stay positive in applying for scholarships.
It keeps applications at the forefront of your mind so you often reflect on ideas to make your applications the best they can be. Having small, but constant, reminders increases your determination to do the best that you can.
• Sort through opportunities to find which suit you best.
While it is good to apply for as many scholarships as you can, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of them.
Taking time to look through and select a few that you know you will be able to do well or really stand out in is always worth it.
It also gives priority to the scholarships that emphasize your strengths and talents, allowing you to devote more time and effort to the applications for scholarships you really believe you can win.
• Ignore scholarship amounts.
When sorting through your scholarship opportunities, try to ignore the monetary amount.
Applying for large money amounts, just because of the money, versus smaller scholarships that suit you (which you may actually win) doesn’t make any sense.
Remember, winning several smaller awards adds up—so apply for awards you qualify for and which suit you, regardless of the financial amount. Money is money, after all.
• Do a little bit every day.
I know that this is said often for a lot of different things, and that it’s not fun to hear, but doing a little bit every day really does help. It keeps ideas flowing and often leads to new inspiration. It keeps your stress level down and makes applying for scholarships less intimidating and easier to manage.
• Find what works for you.
There are many other ways to help prepare and improve your applications that will be specific to you as an individual.
We all have different experiences and perspectives that make us unique and stand out, the trick is finding the best ways to communicate and show those ideas to others.
• Apply early.
Less worrying is always a good thing and rushing last minute never guarantees your best work.
Starting early makes time for inspiration that simply doesn’t come when your work is rushed. This also gives you more time to devote to final editing of your work.
I have found that applying for scholarships early has helped me with establishing connections with my audience and has made me more confident in my work.
Through regularly applying for scholarships, I feel more prepared for college applications and have found hope in the stressful student life we all experience in different ways.
I wish you the best of luck with your scholarship applications!