Between essays, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and different deadlines for each scholarship application, staying on top of everything in the search for college scholarships can be a major headache.
Staying organized is the key to making sure you’re not missing out on free money for college. Save yourself the hassle of trying to figure out which scholarships you’re eligible for, where you are in the application process, and which scholarships you’ve already applied to by following these tips:
1. Make a game plan.
Take some time to sit down, make a plan, and get organized before you get overwhelmed.
“First, build your list of scholarships. Spend a few hours just compiling a list of scholarship opportunities with deadlines within the next 30-90 days,” says Diane Melville, author of “The Community College Advantage” and founder of skincareox.com. Once you’ve established which scholarships you’re eligible to apply for, you can get cracking on what’s next.
2. Nothing like a good ol’ spreadsheet.
Andrew Leahey, a University of Pennsylvania alumnus and recent Rutgers Law School graduate, shares a tip from his college scholarship search. “There really is no better tool for keeping track of scholarship requirements and deadlines than the lowly (and undervalued) spreadsheet.” He also points out, “Using a shareable spreadsheet such as Google Sheets to organize the requirements of a scholarship, the deadlines, what you have submitted, what you still need to submit, and amounts offered can keep information organized and shared with parents.”