college scholarships: organization tips

Posted : September 26, 2013
Last Updated : September 26, 2013
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college scholarships: organization tips

When it comes to applying for college scholarships, organization is a key aspect. From deadlines to account passwords to application requirements, you have a multitude of details to remember. Use the following organization tips to make the process of applying for college scholarships a little easier.

Record your accomplishments. Scholarship applications usually have a section where you list all of your academic and extracurricular achievements. To help you remember all of your accomplishments, be sure to record them in a word document throughout your high school and undergraduate years. These accomplishments may include: awards, honors, leadership positions, volunteer activities, school publications, part-time jobs, etc. Having all of your accolades and accomplishments listed in one document will save you time and prevent you from overlooking an important achievement when filling out scholarship applications.

Keep track of your usernames and passwords. When applying for scholarships online, you will most likely have to create accounts on various websites such as college/university sites, scholarship search sites, and other organizational sites that offer scholarships. These sites may require different types of usernames and/or passwords, so you may not be able to use the same ones across the board. Be sure to record your usernames and passwords for each scholarship site. If you want to keep all of your usernames and passwords saved in a secure file, consider using a password-protected Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Track your scholarship opportunities. As you search for scholarships, you will probably find that there are many scholarships to which you would like to apply. To help you keep track of all of your numerous scholarship opportunities and scholarship application requirements, create a spreadsheet using the following headers:

  • Name of scholarship
  • Deadline date
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Materials needed for submission (such as essay, transcript, letters of recommendation, standardized test scores, financial aid forms, etc.)
  • Additional notes
  • Date submitted

This spreadsheet will help ensure that you are developing and submitting all of the required materials and meeting all of your deadlines.

Keep a calendar. While the above-mentioned spreadsheet is good for keeping scholarship application requirements organized, you may not reference the document every day, which is why you should keep a calendar of your scholarship application deadlines. Use a calendar or reminder system that is conducive to your particular needs. Some will prefer using a daily planner or wall calendar, while others prefer to use a calendar or reminder app on their phone or tablet.

Create a generic checklist. Before submitting scholarship applications, you need to make sure that you have completed the applications to the best of your ability. To do this, you should create a general checklist and make sure that you have fulfilled each item on your list for each individual scholarship. Your checklist may include the following points:

  • Read all eligibility requirements. Do you fit the requirements?
  • Read the application instructions thoroughly to avoid careless mistakes.
  • Proofread all application materials. Ask a mentor to proofread as well.
  • Complete all sections of the application.
  • Gather all extra materials needed for submission such as transcripts, standardized test scores, and letters of recommendation.
  • Verify that you haven't left in any incorrect scholarship organization names if you are reusing material (such as cover letters or essays) from your other applications.
  • Make sure your handwriting is legible if submitting a paper application.
  • Sign and date the application.

Save copies of submitted scholarship applications. Saving copies of your applications makes it easy to resend quickly if they get lost in the mail or problems occur when submitting them online. If you submit online applications, be sure to save copies to your computer in PDF format. If you submit paper applications, you should scan them to your computer or make photocopies and file them in labeled folders.

Staying organized when applying for college scholarships should help the process flow smoothly. For more information about scholarships, be sure to read the scholarships and grants section of this website. You can also perform a free scholarship search and register for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship from eCampusTours.com.


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