Deciding on how many scholarships to apply for might be a matter of personal preference. However, don’t overwhelm yourself before you’ve even been accepted. Here are some things to think about, when it comes to applying for college scholarships.
How Many Scholarships Should You Apply For
Who doesn’t love free money? Scholarships are essentially free money, and there are many awarding foundations out there. But is it wise to spend all your time searching and applying for various scholarships? While your dedication to your education should be applauded, could you be doing other things that would benefit you more? When choosing which scholarships to apply for, keep some of the following in mind.
Time Is Money
Remember, time is precious, even at a young age. There are many things you could be doing during your final months of high school and first months of college, rather than looking for scholarships. Looking through Internet sites eats up time, so stay focused when searching online for scholarship information.
While they give you a variety of scholarships across the country, not all scholarships will benefit you. Instead, consider finding a part-time job. Not only will you have spending money that a scholarship would not give you, but you can put your earnings into savings. You may even earn more than you would have earned the scholarship!
Make Sure It Fits
Sure, that scholarship for left-handed students may sound super easy, but have you been accepted to go to (or even considering attending) Juniata College? The scholarships you apply for must reflect things and ideas that pertain to you. Stop looking up scholarships that are regional, for a particular school or a subject that you’re not positive you want to major in.
Don’t bother applying for a Vegetarian Resource Group scholarship if you’re not a vegetarian and/or you’ve never promoted vegetarianism in your school. Many scholarships require proof of leadership activities for you to even be eligible.
If you don’t believe your work is extraordinary (a one-day highway clean up), remember there are many students who have gone above and beyond (someone set up that clean-up activity, plus five more, and participated in them all). No one says your extracurricular activities aren’t great, but you need to be honest with yourself. Is it worth your time to apply if you’re only fooling yourself?
Instead, try looking for professional organizations that relate to you and see if they offer scholarships or have an educational foundation. If you’ve been accepted to a certain school, check out their website to see if they offer any scholarships. See if local businesses offer scholarships for your city.
The Value of a Word
Some scholarships require a recommendation to accompany your application. You may be friends with your teachers and not-for-profit manager, but their time is important. Sure, they may have told you they’d be happy to write a letter of recommendation about all of your hard work and good intentions but don’t burn any bridges. Asking for one, or even two, letters is completely normal – asking for 15 or 20, not so much.
In a digital age where letters can be copied and spit out from a machine, it may not seem like a burden to you, but scholarship judges will not be happy with a form letter. If a judge reads that Johnny has been at every animal rescue fundraiser, but Johnny applied for an art scholarship, the judge will likely dismiss the letter. He or she may believe that you paid little attention to the scholarship requirements or didn’t care, and it will only reflect badly on you.
Quantity vs. Quality
So, in the end, you must decide which scholarships would benefit you the most. Which award the most money and which award the most recipients? If you have a better chance of winning a scholarship because they award multiple prizes, it may be worth your time. If you meet all of the scholarship criteria and it’s worth a year’s tuition, it may be worth your time. But like your college choice, be sure it’s a good match for you.