The Scholarship process is hard and many times students (especially adult students) kill their scholarship hopes before they even get started by talking themselves out of it; “What’s a few hundred dollars”, “It takes to much time”, “I don’t like to write”, etc… Whether you are reading this article at a time when you are about to give up on looking for scholarships, just started your search or anytime in-between we guarantee that you have had that inner voice inside of you telling you to either push forward or simply give up! First off, don’t give up! Secondly, read through the top 3 “cop-outs” that are stumbling blocks for many students and how you can work through them.
1. I can’t find scholarships that are unique to me
If you feel as though you cannot find any scholarships that fit your personal profile, odds are you are not looking deep enough into what makes you special! In Fact, there are over 2.7 million scholarships available in the United States, valued at over $19 billion…yes billion with a “B” so there is definitely a fair share of easy scholarships to get. Get organized and create a “personal inventory” list that will definitely get you over this hurdle and allow you to have focus on your searches. To get you started we have included some ideas below, but even this long list is very limited. Get creative and think about what makes you….you!
- Unique life experiences/hardships
- Single Mom/Dad
- Live or lived in poverty
- Raise a children(s) with a disability
- Medical and/or physical conditions
- Work experience
- Professional associations
- Union member
- Boy/Girl scouts
- Volunteer work
- Community involvement
- Degree program
- Intended career
- Academic achievements
- Family Background
- Religious affiliation
- Military affiliation
2. I don’t have the time
Time management plagues almost everyone, no matter what you are trying to squeeze into an already busy day and there are a lot of time management techniques out there that you can explore. However, to keep you focused on finding the time to apply for scholarships we will focus on the time v.s. money ratio. So, think about how much your free time worth? Is it worth $10 per hour, $50, $1,000? Many different factors come into play, but to give you extreme and very judgmental examples, consider these two scenarios as a base line:
- Student A – Single male/female, unemployed, no kids. ($10 – $15 per hour)
- Student B – Married male/female, full-time job and 2 kids ( $100 – $300 per hour)
Keeping in mind how much your free time is worth will really help you determine if that $300 scholarship you are applying for is worth the time it will take to apply. This will be a guiding light as you start to narrow down what scholarships to apply to. If you are like many scholarship searchers out there who are very pressed for time (very high time v.s. money ratio) consider some of the more simple scholarships that require very little effort. Check out our Scholarship Review page for more examples.
3. I don’t like to write
Neither do a lot of people, but luckily there are a TON of scholarships that do not require essays. In fact, many essays require nothing more than your demographic information and a few sentences about yourself. Truth be told, many of these scholarships are interested in obtaining your email address, etc… so they can market more materials to you; however, they DO award scholarships all the time and some are well over $10,000 that are given away monthly! If you are going to go this route we recommend using an Autofill function to save time filling out these applications as many require the exact same information. As another tip, set up an email address just for your scholarships! This will help de-clutter your personal mail box and also keep you free from other emails/distractions when working on your scholarship searches. Furthermore, there are a lot of great resources out there that will help you find these sites and get you moving in the right direction. To see an example of one of many Scholarship and Grant guides out there click here!
Scholarships with essays however, normally have a higher award amount and so there are some key tips you can use to get over this obstacle. Please check out our separate article, Scholarship Essay Tips for a more detailed look at how set yourself apart and create these essays.
Remember, giving up is what many students do and it leaves the door open for those that persevere, push forward and swap out watching “Dancing with the Stars” for submitting 1-2 more scholarships. If you want something bad enough you will need to make the time!
If you have ever pushed through a mental barrier and received a scholarship, grant etc… please share your story to help motivate others!