Many people dream of going to college not only for the “college experience” but also to gain a layer of education that has the potential to open the doors to more jobs and opportunities. Through it all, most if not all prospective (and current) college students fear one thing the most: financial aid blues. Since not all universities have 100% need based aid, many students are scrounging for money to pay for tuition in order to avoid taking out extreme student loans. A large part of this scrounging is applying for scholarships which is not only time consuming but more often than not, disappointing.
It’s important not to get too attached with one particular scholarship. So when you see those one-step scholarship applications where you just need to put in your address, you’re not guaranteed to get it. I did at least 15 scholarships of that type and did not hear back from a single one.
Despite the blurb I wrote about my future ambitions, which to me were quite ambitious, the scholarship committee still did not choose me. Looking back on my reactions, I was devastated by the results, but when you look at the grand scheme of things there were probably thousands of other students who applied for the same scholarship and did not receive it. As horrible as this sounds, you are not alone in your rejection.
The next thing I found during my scholarship applications was that even making it to the second round does not mean you’re guaranteed to get the scholarship. I had the mentality when I went into the process that as long as I applied and made it to the second round I had absolutely no chance of not getting the scholarship. So I started fantasizing what I was going to do with that money, and if this is you, I am going to have to say stop right there. There is the chance that you will get the scholarship, but it is at that point that you should start fantasizing about what to do with the money. Any actions such as that beforehand lead to heartbreak and singing Adele song’s as you cry yourself to sleep (we could have had it all).
After typing so many scholarship applications one has to start being smart with what they’re doing. Instead of getting upset because you spent 4 hours typing the best application of your life, recycle your old scholarship applications. Make sure to save all of your papers to a safe place so that you can copy and paste and tweak your own work efficiently and write new papers with ease. While you may not be awarded the first or third or even the twenty fifth scholarship you applied for don’t stop trying no matter what.
If you’re having difficulties with finding scholarships to apply for be sure to search based on your future goals or activities that you have done during high school. There are a lot of small scholarships out there that are lacking in applicants which creates an even larger chance of you winning the scholarship.
If you can’t think of anything when you’re first starting out try scholarship websites that show you options, this will give you a good place to start off searching. Some schools offer Naviance to their students and it has a great scholarship searching engine, as does the College Board and its service is completely free.
As stated earlier it is important to not invest too heavily in any given scholarship. Even with all the work you put in you’re still not guaranteed to get a scholarship, but don’t let that hold you down. They wasted their money by not giving it to you and to them you say, “I WANTED YOUR MONEY” but it’s okay maybe next time. In the mean time you could help out neighbors for money or even get a job and hope that one day student loan debt does not crush you and any family you choose to have.