Winning scholarship awards is one of the best ways to get free money towards your college education. Unlike loans, you don’t have to worry about paying the money back or how much interest that money is going to attract. Whatever money you are awarded, is yours to keep. With that in mind, it’s tempting to think of spending all your time applying for college scholarship awards.
In theory, that’s a great plan. However, there’s one major problem.
Applying for College Scholarship Awards Takes Time
As you get down to looking for scholarships, checking eligibility requirements, writing out essays, and putting together your application, you’ll realize it can take up a lot of time. As a high school or college student, time is always in short supply. It is not advisable to give up all your other activities just to spend time applying for college scholarship awards.
High school students have to deal with the ACT / SAT, writing app essays, visiting colleges, and plenty more. College students have hectic class schedules and massive finals to study for. Adding one more thing on the to-do list can be stressful, especially when it can be time-consuming.
So. How do you de-stress the scholarship app process?
Schedule Time for Scholarship Hunting
The best way to approach this is to schedule a few hours once or twice a week for this purpose. This way, you are not compromising either on your scholarship search or your other college-related commitments. Map out your schedule and find a free hour that you can spend looking for scholarships. The key is consistency. If you do a little bit at a time regularly, you won’t have to cram scholarship searching into a few days.
Start Looking for Scholarships Early
Another way to lower stress is to begin early. Did you know kindergartners can apply for some scholarships? It’s not just for graduating high school seniors. So start hunting early. If you start the sophomore year, for example, and apply for a few scholarships per month, that money can add up significantly. The more you earn in scholarships, the less you have to take out in student loans. That will reduce your student loan debt! It’s well worth the effort.
Apply for Scholarships All Throughout College
Like we said, scholarships aren’t just for high school seniors. College students can apply for scholarships as well. And should. Often. Whether it’s over the summer, or on Sunday afternoons, find a time in your college schedule to hunt. There are scholarships for studying a certain major or participating in college sports or societies.
How Often is Too Often?
Every student will have a different schedule and workload. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. The best option is to take a hard look at your schedule and find the time that works best for you. Maybe you spend an hour searching and applying per session. Or two. Maybe just thirty minutes. Of course, you can experiment with time and frequency until you find a combination that works best.
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