Scholarship season is over, so you probably have started concentrating on other things. However, we urge you to spare a few minutes to read this article – and then some more time every day to start researching scholarship options now.
There’s no time to waste when it comes to scholarships, and here’s why:
No, a scholarship is not just “a way to pay for my university” (and if that’s the way you feel about scholarships, you probably won’t be getting one). A scholarship will set the course of your education and career for at least the next five or six years, probably more.
When you select a scholarship, they will not only sponsor your studies but also become your first employer. Scholars are also sent on attachments, training programmes and internships to get involved and learn about themselves and the organisation.
It’s not a stretch to say that a scholarship will change your life and your future, so it’s only sensible that such a big decision should be made after adequate preparation. Begin searching for organisations that interest you early, so that you don’t end up in a place you regret!
Research takes time
What forms the bulk of scholarship prep? Research, research, research. Research will help you narrow down the organisations and scholarships you want to shoot for, research will help you learn more about their work and sponsorship requirements, research will help you craft your personal essay and interview answers to best appeal to them.
All that work will take a hefty amount of time, so be it’s best to start early! Browse through scholarships on the BrightSparks portal, delve into corporate websites and news reports, browse industry media and read up on the sector, and spend some time thinking of your own ideas and future in these organisations.
Gather your materials
Scholarship applications require a lot of documents, and these will take time to gather. Start your prep early by approaching teachers for testimonials and getting your certs and awards in order (and scanning them if need be!). You can even start drafting your application now and save it to finish later!
Remember that teachers, ex-employers and all those people providing you valuable references have lives and commitments of their own. Give them ample time to ready your documents, and don’t rush them.
Calm the mind
The window for application isn’t open for very long. For some organisations, it’s a mere two weeks at best, so you will be much calmer if you decided beforehand if this is the scholarship you want to apply for, rather than wondering about it only when the seconds are ticking away.
We make our worst decisions in a hurry, fueled by panic and anxiety the day before a deadline. Scholarship applications are no different. By prepping beforehand, you can work out a plan that details which scholarships you want to apply for, how you want to network with the providers, and what information you need for the application. This will keep you calm and ensure your successful application.