How to Make Time for Scholarship Applications
Most students plan on applying for scholarships, but it’s easy to procrastinate – we can always do it tomorrow or the day after, right? With school, extracurricular activities, social activities and maybe a part-time job, there never seems to be enough hours in the day. Sometimes things just get pushed into the background.
Unfortunately, procrastination could cost you money. Applying for scholarships is a time-consuming process, but it’s essential if you don’t want to rely on hefty loans to fund your college education. Here are a few tips to help the process go smoothly:
Apply for select scholarships
Instead of applying for every scholarship for which you are eligible, you’ll find it’s much more productive if you apply only for those scholarships that are a good match. For example, let’s say you’re majoring in creative writing with a focus on fiction. You come across a great scholarship for students who write science fiction. If you write in a different genre, you probably wouldn’t want to apply for this particular scholarship. Instead, you’ll apply for fiction and other scholarships that closely match your needs and qualifications.
Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your applications, especially if you have to write an essay. If your application is due at the end of June, for example, prepare your application in mid-May or early June. You might want to start earlier, depending on your schedule. Starting early allows for any unexpected events – like a surprise paper that’s due in a week or a sudden illness.
Starting early also allows you time to have a trusted professor or friend review your essay, if required. and you’ll still have time to make the necessary changes.
Organization is essential to effectively applying for scholarships. Make sure you know when each scholarship application is due. Gather the information you need ahead of time – your references’ names, addresses and phone numbers; your school and work information including dates, addresses and phone numbers and so on.
You might want to mark the due dates for scholarships on a calendar as a reminder for what you need to do and by when.
Take advantage of time off
Time off doesn’t have to mean spring break or the weekend. If you have an extra hour in the evening, instead of watching television, work on your scholarship applications. Get up an hour early or stay up an hour late, and use that time to prepare your applications. Whatever you do, make the time to prepare your applications – it could mean the difference between partial or full funding for school and having to take out substantial loans.
Life is busy, and it’s easy to get sidetracked. However, if you organize yourself and set time aside each day – even if it’s only a half an hour or an hour – you’ll find you’re a lot more productive. In turn, you’ll complete your scholarship applications quicker (procrastination takes a lot of time), and you’ll have more time to kick back and relax. It’s tough, but it will be worth it in the end.