The key to winning scholarships is finding the right match.
There are thousands of scholarships available each year. Yet, according to the scholarship app, Scholly, over 100 million dollars of scholarship money isn’t claimed. You can win some of that money by applying to scholarships that match your strengths and interests. So how do you know which scholarships suit you? You achieve this by doing some quick and straightforward scholarship research.
When you find the essential information about a scholarship, you can analyze it and decide if it’s a good fit.
In this post, I’m sharing with you how to do that in 3 easy steps, so you don’t waste time applying for scholarships that aren’t relevant to you.
Step #1 Find Information About the Scholarship and Its Sponsor
You’ve spent time searching, and now you have a list of scholarships from a website, your guidance counselor, a scholarship book, etc. You’re excited to start applying. What next? The first thing you should do is visit the company or organization’s website and read about the scholarship.
Also, you want to read other information about the company or organization offering the scholarship. Read their main pages like the homepage, mission, about us page, or what they do page. Get a sense of who they are and their purpose in offering a scholarship. Doing this will help you decide if you share similar interests, goals or connect with what they do. If you want to learn more about how to do this, check out the blog post-https://www.academicwritingsuccess.com/5-overlooked-scholarship-essay-tips-you-need-to-know/.
After that, write a sentence describing who they are and what you like about that scholarship sponsor. If you cannot do this, spend more time reading the information or ask someone else to look at it and share what they think.
Step #2 Record the Scholarship Information and Details
After a quick look at the scholarship and its sponsor, go back to the page about the scholarship. Read all the details and copy them into a document or write them in on an organizer or template. The At-A-Glance Scholarship Research and Analysis Quick Sheet has sections for you to add important information. If you want to get a free copy, sign-up for it at the end of the post.
Create a quick scholarship overview with background information like:
- The scholarship or essay contest name
- The sponsor (company, organization, etc.) offering it
- The website (the page with scholarship information
- Award money
After you have those details, add the scholarship description, eligibility, and requirements. Usually, this information is on the same webpage, but you may have to look at a few pages. Make sure you include any essay prompts or other prompts within this section.
In the next 2 images, you’ll see the template I use to copy scholarship details:
In part 1 of the template, I capture the scholarship’s background and eligibility information. In the second part, I copy and paste the scholarship description (including any prompts), and any other requirements like a transcript, extracurriculars, recommendations, etc.
Step # 3: Analyze the Scholarship and Decide If It’s a Match
Before you continue your scholarship research, evaluate whether you should apply. In most cases, if you have done the research already, you will apply to it, but sometimes it’s tricky. What if there are several scholarships due at the same time? How can you prioritize them?
First, look at the research, and write at least two reasons to apply for that scholarship. If you can develop more, that is even better. When you can’t any find a reason to apply, ask yourself, Why?
I don’t want you to let fear or lack of confidence in yourself be why you don’t try. Make sure your reasoning not to apply is directly related to the scholarship requirements.
After writing your reasons, you should know if this scholarship is a match for you. But what if you don’t know or you are applying to scholarships with the same deadline. How do you prioritize?
I recommend rating your scholarships. I use a 10-point motivation scale. Rank your motivation to apply on a scale of 1 through 10. The number 1 means you are not interested, and a score of 10 means you are highly interested.
If your motivation is below 7 points, prioritize other scholarship applications first (unless you have many of the application materials set and the deadline is soon). If your motivation level is below 5, this scholarship isn’t a good fit for you. Focus on other scholarships. After you finish those, reconsider that scholarship.
Create a Binder of Folder for Your Scholarship Research
All that scholarship information can overwhelm you if you do not have an organized place to store everything.
An old-school way to do this is to create a binder with different sections about you (your GPA, recommendations, resume, and a list of what makes you unique, etc.) and other sections for the scholarship research, applications, and more. Another handy element is to have a scholarship tracker where you can see everything you are applying to, the requirements, deadlines, and track your progress.
Alternatively, you can do these same things digitally and save them to your computer, USB drive, or on a cloud. It’s your choice, but you do need a system. The sooner you put one in place, the better.
I created a fillable PDF to add scholarship details and save it digitally or print out the information to add to a binder.
If you want a simple way to store your scholarship research, sign-up for my free At-A-Glance Scholarship Research and Analysis Quick Sheet. It’s an easy template you can fill-in digitally or print out.
Sign up below and start organizing all of your scholarship research!