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When Should I Apply for Scholarships?

Yesterday, today, tomorrow, and right now. The best time to apply for scholarships is all the time. There are, however, some scholarship “prime times.”

  • Prime Time for High Students to Apply for Scholarships: Spring

Many scholarships for high school students become available at the end of the school year. Your high school will likely have a scholarship program to apply for, but don’t forget to keep an eye out for other scholarships as well. From your church, to the rotary club, to your neighborhood restaurant, you should be researching scholarships on a weekly (if not daily) basis. It’s never too early to start!

  • Prime time for College Students to Apply for Scholarships: Fall

We know move-in time is overwhelming, but a good time to apply for scholarships for the following year is right as students move onto campus in the fall. Specifically, be on the lookout for department scholarships – scholarships that are available to students majoring in that field. If it’s available, be sure to apply to the departments you might be minoring in as well.

  • The Rest of the Year

And then there’s the rest of the year. That’s right, we recommend applying for scholarships year-round. Our database of scholarships is packed with open scholarships all year long, not just during the “prime times” listed above.

How to make the most of your year-round scholarship application window:

  1. Use downtime to research and apply for scholarships. If you dedicate one or two hours a week to research open scholarships and apply as you find them, the task becomes significantly less daunting. Instead of applying all at once, you have scholarship winnings from throughout your school year – including from times when other students were less likely to apply!
  2. Holiday time = scholarship time. Holiday breaks are great times to write some scholarship essays, maybe create a video if you need to, and dedicate a good chunk of a time to apply for scholarships. Breaks from school come with less distractions and are great for cramming in a bunch of scholarship applications. Brew some coffee, park yourself in front of your computer, and get it done!
  3. Invest in quality AND quantity. Although we do recommend submitting as many scholarship applications as you can, we also encourage you to spend time making sure your scholarship applications are top-quality. Do quality work, have someone you trust review your writing, and re-read your information before submitting. If it means that you spend a year less paying off your student debt, it’s worth the extra few minutes to make sure there’s no spelling mistakes.

Here’s the big picture: when you finally receive the piece of paper that sums up all the work you invested in your four years of college, you’ll also have to face the reality of student debt. If you spent your four years applying for scholarships, hopefully that student loan number will be lower, and that means that you’ll spend less time paying it back. Your future self will be grateful to every moment you spend now filling out scholarship applications. Don’t be burdened by your debt. Do something about it!