When you are working on applying for different scholarships, the application process might be stressful. There tends to be plenty of information, deadlines, and paperwork to keep track of, and few students find the process fun. You are likely juggling this with other responsibilities, like a job, extracurricular activities, and a social life. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to reduce the stress.
Protect Your Investment
No matter how many scholarships you apply for, you will likely still end up paying some tuition. Have you ever thought about what might happen if you were unable to finish your education because of something outside your control? Consider protecting this investment by getting tuition insurance. If you are injured or get sick, you could get up to all your tuition amount back, including the amount paid to fees and room and board. You can learn more on Earnest.com to answer all your questions.
Create an Organized Spreadsheet
If you do not already have all the information in one place, take some time to gather everything you need. Create a folder with your recommendation letters, transcripts, photos, and anything else you might need for an application. You can create a subfolder with previous essays that you can then tweak for new applications. Create a spreadsheet with information on what scholarships you have already applied for and those you want to. You should include the source, name, amount, award year, if it is renewable or one-time, and when you hear back about whether you receive it. That way, if you receive an acceptance letter, you will be able to tell what you have received.
Know You Won’t Get Every Scholarship You Apply For
It is easy to become frustrated during the application process, and many don’t give themselves the same slack they tend to give others. However, accepting that you are only human is part of the process. You likely already have other responsibilities, and you may find you miss a deadline. Even if you submit a stellar application, a scholarship source likely has only so many to offer, so they can’t give something to every student who applies. There are plenty of other options out there, and the trick is to keep looking, even after you are in college.
Schedule Yourself for Scholarship Applications
Treating scholarship applications like a job and less like something you do in all your spare time can remove some of the stress. Create a schedule of times when you will be working on your applications. You might have a lighter schedule on Friday afternoons, so you could schedule two or three hours to work on your applications. You might also find that on certain days of the week you have better luck finding grants that fit what you are looking for. scheduling times to work on your applications also means when your time is up, you can step away from the computer without feeling like you need to keep going. This is a great way to balance your responsibilities with your life.
Get Advice as You Go
Getting advice and understanding the types of financial aid and college funding options available can be helpful since hearing from others who have gone before you might be just what you need to move forward. However, getting too much advice may not be helpful either since it can be competing, leaving you feeling overwhelmed. Instead, go to individuals who you trust and respect. Ideally, these will be people who know you well, such as family members who have been through college. Of course, your school’s career counselors can also be helpful because they have more specialized expertise.
Consider the Rest of the World
It is easy to get caught up in applications and start thinking of your value in terms of how much you have achieved or what awards you have received. However, know that your life is about more than your academic success. If you are doing your best, you are moving in the right direction, so give yourself some grace. Make time to do things that help you relax and enjoy your time in high school or college. Doing community work and volunteer activities can bring meaning into your life. They can also give you something to talk about in your application essays.
Have the Right Mindset
Stress can really reduce your productivity. However, it is important to avoid letting negative feelings have an impact on the application process. Having the right mindset is one of the best things you can do for yourself because of how much it impacts the way you present yourself. It will give your essays a more positive feeling, and it can reduce your overall stress levels. Having a positive mindset is much more likely to help you achieve the outcome you are looking for.