Anyone out there feel like they have possibly another full-time job with the dreaded scholarship search? If you’re anything like me, you definitely just rolled your eyes or even considered closing out of this tab. Trust me, I feel you. Scholarship pressure has been looming over and haunting me since the beginning of high school, when I was the only freshman in College and Career Club. What a nerd.
However, scholarships do not have to be a horrible chore that you dread doing! We have already shared one PHENOMENAL resource here, so check it out for sure. I’ve compiled a list of the tips and tricks I’ve been using to get through the constant searching and endless essays, and hopefully these will help you win some money! And who knows, you might actually enjoy it.
Think of this scholarship search whole process as a game.
How many scholarships can you submit in an hour? Can you tackle one more in the same amount of time? Going in with the mindset that scholarship applications are a game rather than a life-or-death situation has made me want to continue putting in the same personal information over and over even when all motivation is lost.
A friend of mine told me to think of it as a game that can only yield winning results; the worst-case scenario is wasted time and no money. But even then, the time spent on essay writing will be helpful for assignments later on. Nothing about this process is a waste of time unless you stop caring!
Don’t waste time. There’s a whole wide world out there.
As much as I would absolutely love to apply for an fire safety scholarship and have to take a quiz on how to use a fire extinguisher (sarcasm), I would definitely not waste my time on a scholarship like this. Before I hunker down and start writing, I always ask myself, “Is this scholarship worth my time?”
In this case, I would say my odds are winning a fire safety scholarship are 0 to none. Also, who wants to spend an hour taking a quiz when they could be applying for 4 more grants in that time? Unless you love fire extinguisher quizzes… I don’t know your life.
Another way to decide if it’s the right scholarship for you: does it interest you?
The right scholarship will make you excited to apply for it. After weeks of scrolling through boring criteria that made me want to shut my laptop and never open it again, imagine my excitement when I found an LGBT+ ally scholarship opportunity. I’m an active advocate for the LGBT+ community so obviously, finding this application was a huge win. I was actually excited to apply as soon as possible- crazy, right? And it turns out, there were a lot more where that came from. As soon as you realize what topic interests you most, you can follow that path and apply for similar scholarships that share the same subject.
Random drawings are your best friends (or at least they can’t hurt you).
A free $1,000 just for signing up for a website with my name and email address? Heck yeah, count me in. There are a ton of drawing scholarship prizes that are selected randomly each month. These applications take literally less than 2 minutes and can yield huge results if you’re the lucky winner.
And like all scholarships, it’s all a number’s game. The more you apply for, the most chances you have to win some major cash. But be warned: you should never have to pay any money to apply. If a website insists you pay, click the red X in the corner and don’t look back.
Make a list of attributes that make you unique and go from there.
So many scholarships are based on qualities you may already have. If you aren’t sure where to start on your search, this is a great tip to dip your toe in the pool of possible applications. This list can include things such as physical appearance (hair color, eye color, height), special skills (piano, chess, leadership), religion, sexual orientation, organization involvement (National Honor Society, International Thespian Society, Key Club), or extracurriculars (choir, yearbook, drama).
Go for some quirky scholarships in addition to some well-known ones.
Which ice cream flavor would I be? What’s the most embarrassing moment of my life? Some websites pay big money for you to answer silly questions like these. Yes, you read that right, I’m saying you could win $1,000 just to write 250 words about the time you fell backwards into a bucket not once, but twice (this is just a hypothetical, of course, not a real story or anything…) and it could take you less than 10 minutes.
What are you doing procrastinating on Metiza? Go write some essays!1
Also published on Medium.