Teaching yourself to take advantage of scholarship opportunities

February 22, 2013

People know that they can get extra money to help cover college expenses just by filling out a bit of paperwork. Scholarships, grants and other programs are available in droves, and while there's plenty of information about how, where and when to submit the right forms, not everyone takes advantage of these opportunities. When it comes to getting those funds, you also need to be motivated to apply for a scholarship. These tips can help you narrow the field.

If you can't be bothered to write a short essay and mail in a couple of forms, chances are you may struggle with other pursuits, too, according to the Park Record. Considering how easy these applications are to complete, missing out on thousands of dollars due to lackadaisicality and other distractions isn't the best excuse.

"There are thousands and thousands of dollars out there that go to waste because [students] don't apply," said scholarship adviser Garry Walker to the news source?.

Starting simple, though, may help get you motivated to make a move on more extensive applications. If you invest a small amount of time with the potential of earning thousands of dollars, that can get you working on more applications, which in turn will increase the likelihood of actually winning one of those awards.

"I think we have people who are not trying," said another adviser, Nancy Michalko to the same news source. "We also have people who try, and even though [the scholarship process] is competitive, they tend to walk away with something. It's a numbers game. The more applications you do, the more likely you are to get a scholarship."

Getting more focused
USNews wrote that the volume of new scholarships emerging every year continues to grow. Some of the most recently announced offerings may appeal to students on a national level and apply to a variety of career choices. That means more competition, but as long as you apply for a scholarship in a timely fashion, you have a better chance of winning the thousands of dollars available as opposed to never sending in an application at all.

Focusing on more regional programs may be a good idea, if the idea that insurmountable odds will keep you from winning is what holds you back from sending in a form. USNews wrote that some prestigious backers, such as PG&E and Joe Lieberman, are offering substantial scholarships for young people. However, each of these funds has specific residency and college major requirements, helping to narrow the field.

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