Myth: I Need To Be in a Ton of Extracurricular Activities to Earn Scholarships

Flickr user Fabrice Florin

You may have heard that you need to cram your scholarship applications with tons of extracurricular activities in order to win. However, especially if the deadline is right around the corner, you may be happy to hear that’s not the case.

You Don’t Need a Ton of Extracurricular Activities

Each scholarship is different, but you probably don’t need a ton of extracurricular activities or participation in clubs and groups to win the award you’re aiming for. Scholarships look for very specific criteria and many don’t even ask for after school activities.

Make sure you look at the scholarship’s requirements. They may ask that you participated in a specific activity or project in your community, but they don’t ask you to hit a certain number of activities you had to take part in.

Participate in Extracurricular Activities That Mean Something to You

Don’t fill up your time with as many extracurricular activities as you can. Cramming them into your schedule will only stress you out. Rather, take part in activities that mean something to you and are in line with your goals.

If you’re interested in political science, you will most likely want to apply for scholarships to do with that major. Participate in projects or groups that have to do with political science, like student government, volunteering in your community, or getting a job or internship with your city. The same goes if you’re interested in biology and becoming a zookeeper. Volunteer at the animal shelter or take part in an animal or science club at school.

No matter what your intended major or career, there are most likely scholarships that have to do with your interests. By focusing on extracurricular activities that mean something to your future, you can devote your time to growing yourself as a person, helping the club or community you’re interested in, and help improve your chances of winning the scholarship. The group that awards the scholarship will see your dedication and interest in the subject by you showing what’s most important to you.

You May Have More Extracurricular Activities Than You Realize

If the deadline is approaching for your scholarship and you’re worried you don’t have any extracurricular activities that fit, don’t panic. You may just have participated in more than you realized.

Some students believe that only school groups count as extracurricular activities. However, that’s not the case. For example, if you volunteered somewhere, that counts and you can include that. You may have participated in an online forum or group too. Some genealogy groups let you transcribe documents. This counts! You may have done something similar. Have you helped a fellow student or a sibling with classes? That’s tutoring and can absolutely be included. It’s simply time to brainstorm.

Even if the deadline for your scholarship is quickly approaching and you think you don’t have enough extracurricular activities, don’t panic. Include the groups, clubs, or work that you participated in that have to do with the actual scholarship. Brainstorm and think about what the award winners would care to see.

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Hilary Cairns

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