The scholarship search can be a long and exhausting process. All those websites to search through…all those criteria to read…all those forms to fill out…. You may not want to hear this, but applying for scholarships is supposed to be difficult – you need to put forth a lot of effort in order to get rewarded. Because it’s such hard work, it can be easy to lose focus and fall behind on your search sometimes. Don’t let it all get to you! Follow these tips to keep yourself motivated and on track throughout your scholarship search.
Search early. Search often.
Start your scholarship search as early as you can. You’ll begin finding a large number scholarships once you’ve hit your junior year of high school. Throughout your junior year, make it a point to search for new scholarships about once every two weeks. Your senior year is when you’ll start to find tons more scholarships. At this point, it’s a good idea to search for scholarships at least once a week. At Cappex, we add tons of new scholarships each week, so be sure to check if any of the new ones apply to you. Continuously seeing new scholarships that you qualify for provides great motivation to keep up with your search. There’s always more to find!
Track. Track. Track.
Keep your own list of all the scholarships on your plate. Create a table or a chart that lists all the scholarships you will apply for, those you’ve already applied for, and even those you’re interested in or unsure about. Sort them by the deadline date so you can manage your time effectively. Put a nice big check mark next to those you’ve applied for. Checking items off your to-do list is an excellent way to see how much you’ve accomplished.
Budget your time.
Schedule a specific time of each week to work on your scholarship search and applications. For example, every Sunday night, you could devote two or three hours to your scholarship search and working on applications. Once you’ve set that time, stick to it! Scheduling something in this manner provides structure, and adhering to that schedule you set for yourself ensures that you will always be on top of your search. If you don’t have hours at a time to devote to your scholarship essays and applications, divide the work up into smaller chunks, such as an hour a night. Spreading out the work like this helps keep you energized and allows you to look at your work with fresh eyes each time you begin again.
Take a break.
Your eyes might be a bit glassy. You might be a bit tired. For those times when you end up spending many hours on an application or an essay, don’t forget to take a break to refresh yourself. A break doesn’t mean browsing through your Facebook feed though! Step away from your computer and get your blood flowing again. For example, getting up and walking around your house for a little while, getting a snack or a beverage, splashing your face with cold water, walking up and down a flight of stairs a couple times, or going outside for a few minutes helps you decompress. When you return to your work, you’ll feel more energized and motivated to keep sprinting toward the finish line.