Scholarships: It’s All About the Hustle!

HUSTLE! HUSTLE! HUSTLE! There’s not much difference between playing competitive sports and scholarship searching. Both require discipline, strategy, and dedicated time.

Scholarship searching requires discipline, which improves a skill or training. It also entails focus and strength of mind. Since scholarships don’t just magically appear whenever you say the word “scholarships,” you will have to embed scholarship searching into your weekly routine just like athletes make time for practice to improve their performance.

Another necessity when hunting for scholarships is strategy, or plan of action, which answers the how, when, and where to scholarship search. Just like sports plays, you’ll need to understand which types of scholarships best suit you. For example, it’s expected that most will contend for the larger scholarships, right? But, did you know there is a massive amount of mini to small scholarship awards that get overlooked? Yep! It’s true! So make it a point to apply for them, especially local ones.

Finally, dedicating time to search and apply for scholarships is everything! Block off time in your planner, smart phone calendar, etc. to focus on nothing but scholarship searching. Eventually, people will understand and respect what you are doing.

Here are our #GetPREP scholarship search tips.

Pre-write. Have these generic essays ready to tweak and upload to scholarship applications: a) Why do you deserve this scholarship? b) How did you overcome a challenge? c) Tell us about yourself? d) How will this award help you achieve your goals/dreams? Each of these is seeking your “compelling” story. Before they invest their money in you, scholarship awarders want to know that if you have experienced or possess what it takes to overcome adversities in college.

Reserve. Block off specific time on your schedule to apply for scholarships. We recommend about an hour and a half to two hours. You can do this by activating the “Do Not Disturb” or Airplane mode features. Also, go to a quiet location, so you can really get in the scholarship zone. You’ll be surprised at how fast time will fly. It might be helpful to have an accountability partner as long as you both stay focused.

Engage. Only you can determine the success of your scholarship search sessions. It’s best to have a strong action plan in place first. Categorize your scholarships by type, award, or deadline, then prioritize them. For instance, sweepstakes scholarships are smaller awards and are monthly. Group these together, and then dedicate a time to applying for them each month. However, some large scholarships have small application windows with greater requirements, so establishing timeline priorities is critical.

Pursue. KEEP APPLYING! Searching and applying are two very different verbs. We’ve see

n too many times where students don’t apply or will only apply for one or two scholarships a semester. Scholarship application is an ongoing process, which is why we say make it routine/habit. Also, maintain a scholarship tracking chart as you apply. This will help you know when to expect notifications.

Soon you’ll learn what athletes already know: HUSTLE PAYS OFF!