College students are worrying more about their debt than ever before. In a 2019 survey conducted by The Princeton Review, the number one worry among college applicants concerned the amount of debt they would amass in order to pay for their college degree. In 2006, debt wasn’t their biggest concern but in fact students were more concerned about getting into their top college of choice. In 2019, tuition costs continue to skyrocket, and so too do students’ level of anxiety in the run up to their college education.
As students hurry to fill out financial aid forms and scholarship applications, they can become overwhelmed and often begin to feel hopeless in all the data, forms and parent’s expectations hanging over them. In the survey conducted by the Princeton Review in 2018, it was found that the hardest part of the college application process was in fact filling out financial aid applications. Ironically so, this is the one thing that can end up saving students thousands of dollars on their tuition costs. If they stop or fail at this stage, what’s left to do in order to get the higher education they need to start their careers.
What makes those applications “hard” for students to complete? Finding relevant scholarships and applying to them can be taxing, long, tedious, overwhelming, and frustrating, that is, if you don’t do it right from the start.
The hunt for scholarships should be as efficient and stress-free as possible. Here are some of the mistakes you or someone you know is probably making in the search for scholarships.
You’re Applying To Scholarships Manually
Applying for scholarships manually can be time consuming, and just boring. It’s no surprise that so many students feel hopeless and drained while applying and end up giving up on looking for scholarships altogether. Who knew searching and applying for scholarships would be difficult? Well, these same students deeming the application process too difficult are making one big mistake that will end up costing them thousands of dollars in the long run.
What is that one big mistake they’re making? They are applying to scholarships on their own. This means scouring the internet for hours, trying to find a few relevant scholarships, and filling out every application separately. But there’s a solution to this conundrum and endless hours of ‘Copy Paste’. Instead of applying manually, why not save your time and fill out an automatic application? Sure, there are many virtual assistants available online who’d do the hard work for you but why not try an online service to make the process easier. One simple application with information about yourself will be sent to all the scholarships you are eligible for and the ones you choose to apply to.
Save your time so that you can spend it on other important things, like staying on top of your school work, exploring your passions, and discovering new hobbies that may help you make friends when you’re on campus.
You’re Sending Out The Same Essays For Every Scholarship
Don’t make the rookie mistake of writing the same essay for every scholarship you apply to. It is almost crucial to the success of the application to actually write different essays and to personalize each essay according to what the scholarship is looking for. FYI, you will do the same for your resume when you’re looking for your first job after college.
Before starting to write each essay, you should get to know each of the organizations awarding the scholarship. For example, scholarships that come directly from schools versus ones that are awarded by religious organizations have unique missions but very different. If you are sending the same essay to five different scholarships and you haven’t tweaked it one bit, you may not be touching upon what they ask of you and almost automatically lose out on that chance to win the money. Writing separate essays guarantees that your essays will be an appropriate fit for the scholarship and most importantly personalized to show them who you really are.
You’re Applying To No-essay Scholarships Because They Aren’t Your Thing
Students falsely believe that the only way to win a scholarship is by writing a brilliant essay. Well, there are actually plenty of no essay scholarships out there. It’s not always about writing an essay and believe it or not, there are plenty of scholarships that ask students to create content other than in written form. Maybe they’ll ask you to create a video, write a song, or even to design a greeting card in order to be considered.
So, if writing isn’t your thing, don’t worry. There are so many types of scholarships available, and you will be able to find one which fits you. But in our experience, getting your opinions out there on paper can really go far.
You’re Applying To Only ONE Essay Scholarship
If you are avoiding some great scholarships because they require you to write an essay, stop yourself and rethink this one. Some of the highest scholarship awards are those that require you to write an essay or two. You definitely shouldn’t miss out on this opportunity simply because you feel that you aren’t a good writer.
Being able to express yourself grammatically correct is important to scholarship committees but what you write about and how well you follow the essay’s instructions are equally as important, if not more.
Remember to show the judges what sets you apart from other students is you being yourself. The judges appreciate a show of character.
But Here’s The Thing…Apply To As Many Scholarships As You Can
It’s important to apply to many scholarships, so that you increase your chance of winning more money. Even if the scholarship award is low, it is still worth it to apply. You might just end up winning a few scholarships and the money adds up.
Many students are able to win scholarships simply for following the guidelines and rules of the scholarship. Millions of dollars in scholarship money are awarded every year and this can be you. While the process can be overwhelming, be sure to use an online scholarship service to help you find relevant scholarships and fill out multiple applications at once. These tools increase the likelihood of you winning money to lower the high costs of college.