At first, scholarships can be intimidating and may seem out of reach. Below are some common fears and concerns students often have. Conquer your fears and commit to the scholarship process. You can do it!
I am too young
If you are not in grade 12, you may feel that it is too early to begin thinking about scholarships. It is never too early to get started. As a younger student, there are a number of steps that you can take now to begin building your scholarship foundation. Take advantage of the time that you have. There are even a select few applications that you can submit prior to grade 12. Do keep in mind that there are only a handful of scholarships open to younger students. High volume starts at the grade 12 level and continues into your post-secondary career. However, it can be helpful to seize those opportunities that are available so that you can gain some experience early on. Having said that, that does not mean that it is too late to start if you are currently in grade 12 or if you are already a post-secondary student. You can apply for scholarships throughout your entire educational journey, from grade 8 to your PhD. This is an ongoing process.
I do not have the grades
The majority of scholarships are not based on academic standing alone. Do not dismiss scholarships simply because you feel that your grades are not adequate. If you encounter applications where your grades do not meet the minimum requirements, do not let that discourage you. There will be other opportunities for you down the road.
I do not have the time
As a student, you often manage a busy schedule between academic commitments and extra- curricular activities. While you may feel like you do not have room in your schedule to accommodate scholarships, you must find a way to make it work. Make the time. Scholarships require a significant time investment, especially at the beginning. This is a labour intensive process but as you build your scholarship foundation, you find your rhythm and it becomes easier over time. Plus, let’s say that you spend ten hours working on an application and you win $1000. $100/hour is a pretty decent working rate. Try to keep the big picture in mind.
I have not done enough
If you happen to read biographies of scholarship recipients, it seems as if these students were child prodigies who started international organizations. This can be intimidating and make you feel as though you have not done enough. Often times you have accomplished much more than you may have thought. We occupy ourselves with activities that we enjoy. Once it becomes incorporated into our everyday lives, we may not view it as important when in actuality it may be a quality that a scholarship committee is looking for. Do you volunteer, play a sport, sit on student council? Take a careful look at what you do to occupy your time and you may be surprised. Believe in yourself.
This is an excerpt from the Unlock your Future Scholarship Workbook, a step-by-step guide for navigating the scholarship process. Brittany Palmer is the force behind Unlock your Future: The Key to Scholarships, an award-winning business that makes scholarships approachable. Using this program, Brittany and her brother collectively won 35 scholarships totaling over $125,000. With over a decade of experience and having navigated scholarships as a student, consultant and administrator, Brittany offers a unique perspective and strategic approach to an often-overwhelming process. From a dynamic seminar that outlines a comprehensive program to private consulting sessions to give you a jump start, Unlock your Future empowers students to pursue their academic goals while offering them the tools to help fund those dreams.