Why You Shouldn’t Apply To Every Scholarship You See

Student using his laptop - don't apply for every scholarship you see

Flickr user ELAC Libraries

You know there is no limit to how many scholarship programs for college you can apply to. There is also no real limit to the amount of award money you can win. If you’re lucky you could win enough award money to pay your full college tuition. Sounds like a great way to go to college for free, right? However there are two problems. Here’s why you shouldn’t apply to every scholarship you see.

Applying to Scholarships Takes Time and Effort

It can take up a whole lot of time – time that you cannot really afford to waste. Looking for scholarships and going through the eligibility criteria and other terms and conditions can take several hours a week. Applying to each scholarship and writing out a relevant scholarship essay for each opportunity can take several more hours.

Can you really afford to spend that much time on looking for and applying to scholarships? Don’t forget you also have to complete your high school assignments, keep up your academic grades, study for the SAT or ACT, and participate in extracurricular activities. These are equally important as they play key roles in your acceptance into a good school. Of course, you want to afford college, but don’t forget that you first have to be accepted. Don’t neglect other aspects of your high school life.

Therefore, it’s better to focus your scholarship search. Pick a few categories, and narrow your application field.

You Won’t Qualify for All Scholarships

All scholarships have requirements–some more stringent than others. Some will require a certain major, or a specific GPA, or you to be within an ethnic group, or follow a religion. If you don’t match up perfectly with a scholarship’s criteria, don’t bother applying. It doesn’t matter if you meet 4 out of the 5 qualifications. You won’t win it, so it’s best to focus your efforts on scholarships you 100% qualify for. You already have limited time, so spend it applying to scholarships you qualify for and can actually win.

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Use Your Time Wisely

Yes, applying to every scholarship opportunity can be tempting, but it can be counterproductive in the end. A better way would be to keep time aside every week for scholarships, but only after factoring in the time you need for studying and for your extracurricular activities. Make a scholarship calendar that blocks out certain times to work on scholarships. You don’t want to spend your entire day applying, nor do you want to do it all in one go right before deadlines. Space out your applications, write down deadlines and other important dates, and work slowly. Don’t wait until the last minute to apply either. Something can go wrong, from missing the deadline to submitting a corrupted file. If you space out your applications and work through it in regular intervals, you’ll be less stressed and you’ll make deadlines with some time to spare.

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