We’re halfway through summer and there is no better time than now to begin your scholarship search. Still, getting started could be intimidating, especially if you don’t have a clear scope of what you need to do and when to do it. To help you with the process, here are five things you need to do right now.
1. Create a list of scholarship opportunities.
Before you embark on any plan, you need to have a clear goal and course of action in mind.
Before you start your first application, have a clear goal in mind for the number of scholarship dollars you would like to receive, but also the organizations that are granting them. Get started by searching online, talking to your counselor, and talking to friends and family to see if they belong to special interest groups that may have a scholarship program.
Once you have your list, it’s time to go!
2. Choose your school and area of study
Not only will making a decision on your school options and area of study help guide your pathway, but it will also help you to fill out your scholarship application, and can even help you identify opportunities that are related to your college and major.
3. Start asking for letters of recommendation
Don’t wait until you’re applying for a scholarship to try to get a good letter of recommendation. Now is a good time to reach out to a trusted teacher, boss, volunteer coordinator or another person in a position of authority who is familiar with you, your work ethic, and achievements. By starting early, you give yourself a chance to find the right person and to have your letters of recommendation ready to go when you’re ready to start the scholarship application process.
4. Get several copies of your transcripts
Depending on the process of your particular school or district, obtaining a copy of your transcripts could take some time. To get a few copies of your transcripts to include in all of your scholarship packages, go to your registrar, counselor, or another responsible party to request your transcripts early.
5. Start reviewing other scholarship requirements
Each scholarship application is different. Whereas is it common to see a request for a cover letter, essay, and financial information, you may be required to provide other information for consideration. We’ve seen requests for entrance exam scores, interviews with scholarship committee members, and proof of belonging to a specific protected class. By having a grasp of what each application requires, you give yourself enough time to prepare that information.
This scholarship application checklist can help you to start early on finding funding for your higher education. Of course, applying for scholarships is only one part of your college entry process. To prepare yourself mentally and academically for your college journey, please join ScholarPrep Nation where we’ve brought together a village of people and resources that will help you along the way.