Greetings, Salt Community!
We’re officially halfway through our 2017 scholarship challenge, and I’m sensing ... frustration.
You don’t want to win scholarships 6 months from now. You want them right now. To do this, many of you have turned to no-essay, “easy” scholarships—with little to show for your efforts besides carpel tunnel from a ton of online surveys.
I totally get it.
Training is hard, but necessary. You can’t just go outside and complete a marathon without any practice (at least, not without some rough consequences). But we’ve finally reached the part of your training montage where things start making sense. Where you’ll see what it really means to “wax on, wax off.”
It’s time to start applying for scholarships.
At this point, you’ve started a lot of the dirty work that will make you an excellent scholarship applicant. As you begin your applications, you’ll see how these steps will help you:
- Identifying weaknesses and developing a plan to strengthen them
- Writing a convincing scholarship essay
- Adding community service hours each month
- Creating a plan to improve your GPA
If you haven’t already completed these challenges, I strongly recommend going back to do so. Training takes time. But working your way through the process will pay off—in this case, literally with scholarship funds.
If you feel good about where you are, go back to challenge #1 and look at the 10 scholarships you found then. Starting with the scholarship with the closest deadline, begin working your way through each application. Here are some tips to help you along the way:
Organize the awards by deadline. This will tell you which to complete first. If some of the deadlines have passed, that’s OK. There are plenty more awards where those came from, and those expired ones will probably be back next year. Put a pin in them until then. You'll be a scholarship star by that point!
Complete one at a time. With 10 scholarships staring you in the face, you may be tempted to jump to a different award when you hit a snag with one. But that’s an easy way to complete zero applications—and win zero dollars, as a result. Instead, finish each application before moving onto the next one.
Take your time. Set aside some time each day to work on your scholarship applications, even if it’s as little as a half-hour. Dedicating time on your schedule to scholarships can help ensure you complete (and review!) everything you need to without feeling rushed.
Reward yourself. Scholarship applications can be hard work, so treat yourself when you complete one. Post your accomplishment on social media, or add an extra show to your nightly Netflix binge—whatever motivates you. Just be careful about buying things as a reward. The point is to win money, not spend it.
Ask for help. You don’t have to go at this alone. Have someone you trust read your essay. Make a pact with your friends to complete your applications—and keep each other on track. When you run into questions about an award, post them below. Trust me: Everyone will be happy to help you!
Unless you earn a 4-year full ride, you’ll need to keep applying semester after semester. So, once you’ve exhausted your list of scholarships, find 10 more awards using the methods we detailed before. And remember, practice makes perfect!
How are you doing with your challenge? Have you run into any questions with a scholarship application? Sign up or log in with your Salt account to keep us posted in the comments!