Looking for ways to fund your education? Consider taking advantage of your college’s scholarship opportunities. It may sound easy, but it is important to take your entries seriously. When applying, be sure to avoid these common mistakes:
- Don’t procrastinate. As colleges are opening their spring scholarship cycles, you may be thinking, “Oh, I have over a month to complete these applications, it can wait until later.” As tempting as it may be to put it off, it’s best if you apply as soon as possible. Give yourself ample time – it will result in better essay responses. Getting a jumpstart on scholarship applications will give you the chance to work with your college’s writing center to ensure that your essays are free of spelling and grammatical errors. Who knows – if you start early, you may even discover more scholarships that you didn’t know you were eligible for!
- Don’t recycle past essays. As the semester rolls on, more and more assignments are added to your plate. Stress starts to kick in and you’re scrambling to the finish line. It may be enticing to just tweak past essays instead of writing ones specific to each scholarship opportunity, but it will certainly lower your chances of winning. Take your time writing and show why you are the best candidate for the scholarship at hand. Showcase your passion for your field of study or share any life circumstances that you’ve overcome to pursue your education – these key details are sure to dazzle the judges.
- Don’t apply blindly. Create a strategy and roll with it. It may seem like a waste to apply to scholarships with small awards, but they have the potential to add up. It also isn’t a bad idea to research scholarships based on your major – it’ll give you the opportunity to show off your knowledge to the judges. Just don’t overdo it – find the scholarships most suitable for you and go from there. It may even help to create a spreadsheet to track the status of each scholarship application you submitted.