Searching for scholarships can be a mammoth task especially with new scholarship websites and apps popping up all over the internet every day! This post will help you streamline your search process to optimally and efficiently discover scholarships tailor-made to meet your requirement through a few simple steps.
Clarity of mind
At the risk of sounding preachy, we are just going to go ahead and say that to achieve maximum output for any task, you must have clarity of your goals and objectives. Similarly before searching for a scholarship ask yourself the following questions:
These questions are reflective and will help you in understanding your need/ desire for a scholarship better. Once you understand the purpose, reason, and goal of scholarship for yourself, it will be easier for you to write a convincing scholarship application.
Visualize your goals
After having clarity about why you need a scholarship, you must figure out what is your ultimate goal. If you need INR 7,00,000 for your higher education, then you must plan and target various permutations and combinations of scholarships as well as student loans/ jobs to reach your goal amount. This will help you streamline your efforts towards achieving the best scholarship to meet all the expenses For your higher education. Do not forget to factor in living expenses, as more often than not tuition fee is only a small fraction of the expenses borne by the student. Once you figure out the combination of sources required to meet your goals, it’ll help you in narrowing down the research required for the same.
Plan Ahead and Act promptly
Most scholarships are time-bound and are often announced annually or biannually, this requires you to do your research in advance. For instance, if you are a student in class VIII, it is a good idea for you to start researching the scholarships available to class XI and X students. This will give you sufficient time to ensure you secure the score/ grade required to be eligible for the scholarship. It will also help you prepare all your documents/ certificates required for scholarships, ensuring that you are absolutely prepared with all the prerequisites to fill the scholarship application.
Method to Madness
An online search can often turn into a frenzy as you hop from one page to the other in the search of relevant content. It is always a good idea to go about it systematically. You can prepare a spreadsheet or a document file or use basic database management software to keep track of all your searches and mark the important dates for every scholarship so that you do not miss out on even one. You can also color code the various steps of the process to get a quick view of the status of your various applications. Such a methodical approach minimizes your chances of mistakes and maximizes your ability to catch and rectify a mistake at any level.
Choosing the right search words
Depending on your understanding of what you are looking for in a scholarship, you must use carefully thought out search words. For instance, if you are in middle school (class VI-VIII) you can think about getting micro scholarships (e.g. – AuroScholar provides monthly micro scholarships), this can help you collect and save money for your books/ stationery, etc. thus you must search for everything related to micro scholarships to get the best results.
Use search prompts
As soon as you type "scholarship” you will find the most searched results related to scholarships. This can help you search for the most popular and appropriate terms related to scholarships. Using the prompts provided by search engines like Google is a great way to find the latest trends and information about scholarships.
Also, keep in mind and look for the ‘suggested’ results for your search, as this often gives you the most relevant and most popular results.
Research further and make sure you’re not duped
Once you have found the scholarships that you are looking for, go into the details of eligibility criteria, documents required, the procedure for application, etc. Also, try to verify the authenticity and genuineness of the scholarship. For this, you can read our post on Tips and Tricks to Avoid Scholarship Scams (add link). This step is extremely important as there are many scholarship scammers out there on the web and it is better to be cautious than worry later.
Choose the best fit for yourself
As important as it is to find out about the scholarships it is equally important to choose which ones to apply for. For instance, if you do not get the best marks in academics but are extremely talented at dance/ sports, then instead of applying for academic scholarships, you should work for winning extracurricular activities' scholarships. To do so, you can search under the following categories:
We hope that this post will help you choose scholarships that are tailor–made to meet your needs and help you achieve your academic dreams.