You know there are a million scholarships out there, but where do you begin finding the right one for you?
Starting your search can feel intimidating and staying on top of it all can be even more difficult.
So, what’s the big secret? Organization is the key!
Here is a step-by-step list you can follow to keep your scholarship search organized and focused:
1. Make an Applications List
Create a list of the scholarships you’ve already found and would like to apply for, the scholarships you’ve already applied for and are waiting to hear back from and where you’d like to search for more scholarships.
Your Fastweb dashboard is a great tool to utilize for this. It allows you to navigate your scholarship matches and designate those you’d like to apply for, those you’re not interested in and which scholarship applications you’ve completed.
You can also keep your scholarships organized within Fastweb’s app. The app allows you to log in to your Fastweb account and organize lists of the scholarships you already match to on the go. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
The point is to keep track of your progress so you don’t waste time working on anything you’ve already done and get easily reference past scholarships you’ve applied for if necessary.
2. Know Your Scholarship Resources
Create a file bookmarking the websites with scholarship information and scholarships you’d like to apply for. Again, your Fastweb dashboard is made to help you organize these lists — and links straight to the provider’s website with each scholarship details page where you can apply.
Keep your usernames and passwords in a safe spot so that you can access your profiles anytime you need to, as many of the sites update scholarship opportunities frequently.
Look for scholarship opportunities offline, too. Many colleges post scholarship opportunities on bulletin boards on campus, near advisors offices and places where students gather.
Scholarship books are also a great resource, as long as you ensure the information is not out of date.
3. Gather Application Materials
Detail your qualifications and eligibility for scholarships. This will make your future application processes a lot easier when you are applying for more scholarships.
Collect all the materials you may need for applications such as written application essays, your school transcripts and letters of recommendation from teachers and guidance counselors and, if relevant, your FAFSA information.
Keep your materials together so that you can refer to them whenever necessary during your application process, whether it’s in a computer file or an actual file folder.
Also, save all of your scholarship essays as you create them. While it’s not smart to reuse the exact essay, it’s much easier to edit an essay you’ve already written than start from scratch, especially if the essay questions are similar in nature and many of them will be.
4. Make a Deadline Calendar
Deadlines are crucial in the application process. Create a calendar that you can stick to detailing all of your scholarship application deadlines.
Try to organize a schedule for yourself so that you can set dates for finishing you essay, submitting your paperwork, sending in your application, etc.
You Fastweb scholarship calendar on Fastweb lists all of your upcoming scholarship match deadlines to help get you started.
Making a calendar with reminders for the last date of the deadline may be somewhat helpful but it will be far more beneficial to spread out the tasks and plan ahead. That way, by the time the deadline rolls around you’ve already submitted your application and don’t have anything to worry about.
5. Follow Through
Now that you’ve done all the work for when you’re going to apply, you need to actually apply. Make sure that you are mindful of all the criteria and apply for as many scholarships as you possibly can, because applying for scholarships is essentially a numbers game.
Signing up for Fastweb is a great start to the race – but following through is like crossing the finish line. Remember, you can always indicated which scholarships you’ve applied for (or won) on your Fastweb dashboard.
Remember, the more you apply for, the more likely your chances are of winning so apply early and apply often!
Follow these steps all the way to scholarship search success. Good luck with your scholarship search!
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When you start working on scholarship applications, you may find that it’s very easy to lose track of which programs you have already applied to and which ones you still need to complete. Many scholarship search tools provide a way for you to manage the scholarships within their own databases, but what happens if you use more than one resource to locate scholarships? It can be pretty time consuming jumping from website to website trying to figure out what’s next on your scholarship agenda. The best way to keep track of everything on your plate is to create a system to organize it all in one place. You could use the old-fashioned system of office folders, but I personally prefer using an Excel spreadsheet to ensure I never miss a scholarship deadline. If you've never created one before, don’t worry; it’s very simple. Just follow these steps and you’ll soon have your very own scholarship application organizer.
1. Choose a Template
You can start with a blank slate or download a template to customize. If you want something a little more complex, check out the spreadsheet templates on Microsoft Office.
2. Add Your Fields
You’ll find that many scholarship applications ask for the same types of information and documentation. Here are some of the fields you should consider adding to your spreadsheet:
- Scholarship name
- Scholarship provider
- Contact information
- URL for additional information or online application
- Deadline date
- Award amount
- Criteria (age, grade, GPA, etc.)
- Documentation required (transcript, financial records, letters of recommendation, essays, etc.)
3. Filter Your Results
The wonderful thing about Excel is that it allows you to filter your fields. You can easily sort your spreadsheet by deadline, award amount, or any other specification. If you’re not familiar with using this feature, you can also filter your scholarships by color coding them. For example, you could mark the awards you have completed in green, those you are working on in yellow, and any you decide not to apply to in red. It will make it much easier to identify which awards need your attention first.
4. Record Your Progress
Don’t forget to check your organizer each week for any applications that may be due. Once you receive a response on your application (pending, approved or denied), be sure to include those updates, as well. This will make it easy for you to track how many scholarships you have applied for and may even help you determine which programs are better suited to your unique talents and skills, which may increase your chances of winning!
My Gift to You
I know that many students won’t take the time to sit down and create a good scholarship application organizer on their own, but it really is something that every student should use. So, being the helpful mom that I am, I took the time to create an organizer for you. If you want to keep all your scholarship applications organized, all you have to do is click on this link! I've even filled in the first line for you as an example. Let me know how you like it, or if there’s something else you need to help you stay organized. I’m always happy to help.