Ways to get Scholarships for College: Part 5 | College Coach Blog

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Deadlines and Business Matter When Searching for Scholarships!

application deadlines Earlier in our scholarship series , we had written about finding and identifying various kinds of scholarships. This week, we’ll share tricks and tips for staying organized, a critical section of the process of maximizing your scholarships.

Students should begin researching outdoors scholarship opportunities well in advance of receiving their admission acceptance letters, as much scholarship programs have early deadlines. In many cases, scholarship deadlines coincide with admissions deadlines, which can make for a very active fall! Add this work towards the work of your senior year, and you’ll recognize immediate incentive to stay on top of things. As with completing programs for admission, the scholarship application process can get quite involved, frequently requiring an application, personal statement, quality and class rank verification, or letters of support from a therapist or teacher. Keeping on top of deadlines and individual application components will require serious attention to detail and organizational skills.

We advise that applicants keep a detailed spreadsheet in order to both due dates and program requirements. This is a vital part of staying organized and tracking every aspect of every scholarship application. The spreadsheet should include:

  • the name of the scholarship opportunity
  • the get in touch with information for the scholarship (including scholarship director’s name, physical address or web site address)
  • the eligibility requirements/criteria
  • the type of distribution required (online or paper)
  • the individual components of the application, which may include an application form, an essay or personal statement, a records, GPA and class rank, standardized test scores, resume, and a letter of recommendation
  • any kind of associated deadlines
  • sign in information for each scholarship site, if applicable

We all also recommend connecting directly with your high school guidance counselor well in front of application deadlines . In many instances, the student’s high school assistance counselor will have to complete a portion of the particular scholarship application. Because counselors may need multiple weeks of lead period, it is very important to notify the consultant early of your request.

Finally, and this cannot be stressed enough, do not miss your deadlines! Most of the time, scholarship applicants are reviewed by a committee on a set date, and you may have no recourse if your application happens late and is therefore not considered. While you complete your scholarship applications, up-date your organizational spreadsheet with the day of submission and any pertinent details.

Although the outside scholarship search process is time intensive, it should not be overlooked. An structured and diligent student can plow through the process and (hopefully! ) secure additional funding.  

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Relevant Episodes of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation :

Jan Combs  is a  college fund expert   at College Coach. Before joining College Coach, Jan was Director of Financial Aid at Harvard Graduate student School of Education and Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Boston University.  

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