Applying for a scholarship is a wise move to get financial aid for going to college. Many scholarships are available for non-traditional students. And they can mean the difference between finishing your degree or not. But what should you do after applying for a scholarship? Is it a case of waiting and hoping? Or are there certain things you can do after submitting your application?
Read this article for handy tips on what to do after you send your scholarship application.
The follow-up to applying for a scholarship starts with the application process. Let’s briefly look at how non-traditional students can increase their chances of being successful.
Applying for Scholarships
Typically, after applying for one scholarship, you start filling out the application for your next one. And it makes sense to apply for many scholarships if you’re a non-traditional student. After all, scholarships are only awarded to a few people. So, the more you apply for, the better chance you have of winning.
First, it’s crucial to follow the scholarship provider’s guidelines to increase your chances of winning a scholarship. Many scholarships are awarded to students based on academic achievement, work in the community, or the ability to write a compelling essay.
With many scholarships to apply for, how can you, as a non-traditional student, increase your chances of winning? Here are a few handy tips on applying for scholarships:
- Get organized and create a spreadsheet to keep track of your scholarship applications. Keeping a record of your applications is vital for following-up on all your applied scholarships.
- Apply for many scholarships but prioritize the ones that best fit your degree course.
- Follow the application directions carefully — after all, there are thousands of dollars at stake.
- Write a great scholarship essay, get someone to edit it, then proofread it before submitting your application.
Now you have submitted your application, what are your next steps?
7 Steps to Take After Applying for Scholarships
There are seven steps to take after applying for a scholarship as a non-traditional college student needing financial aid.
1. Use a spreadsheet to track applications and responses
It is crucial to stay organized when applying for scholarships. Before you start applying for scholarships, it’s a good idea to have a spreadsheet. This should include data such as the name of the scholarship, application date, deadline, the date winners are announced, the date of the follow-up email, and any other notes.
After applying for scholarships, keep the spreadsheet up to date. This is extremely useful if you’re putting in many scholarship applications.
2. Follow up with an email
Send a follow-up email around a week to ten days after submitting your application. Your application is processed along with many other applications. The goal of sending this email is only to confirm that they received your application. You can also check that they have all the necessary supplementary information.
Because the scholarship provider is processing many — even hundreds — of applications, you may not get a response. Other providers may respond. In any case, following up with an email shows that you’re organized and on top of things.
Remember that you are just checking that they received the application and additional materials. You shouldn’t ask if you’ve won the scholarship. The scholarship committee informs winners when they award the money.
3. Be patient
It may take a few months for the scholarship providers to decide on the winner. After your follow-up email, you should be patient. If you are the winner, the committee will reach out to you. Generally, if you’ve not heard by a month or so after the scholarship deadline, you can assume that you weren’t the winner.
You could also check the college or scholarship’s website. Usually, they publish guidelines for applications and the date when they plan to notify winners. You may also see a list of winners if the scholarship has been awarded.
4. Get feedback
Asking for feedback after applying for a scholarship is always helpful. Scholarship committees are generally interested in helping people succeed in their careers. So, they may be willing to let you know why your application wasn’t successful or how you could improve further applications.
After getting feedback, be sure to use it when applying for more scholarships. Their input and advice could help you be successful in winning a scholarship in the future.
Remember, if you get a response from the committee, it’s a good idea to write and thank them for their feedback.
5. Keep up with your studies
You will need to keep up with your academic studies, even if you’re unsuccessful in getting a scholarship. Even if some scholarships are not based on your GPA, many are. So, having excellent academic achievement will enhance your chances of getting financial assistance for college in the future.
At the same time, you should continue looking for other scholarships to apply for. If you come across new ones, add them to your spreadsheet. Remember that some scholarships are recurring — if that’s the case, don’t forget to reapply.
6. Stay involved in the community
Many scholarship providers are interested in more than just your academic achievements. They are also interested in your involvement in the wider community. Local businesses, organizations, and community foundations sponsor scholarships.
It is in your interest to find ways to get involved in community projects. Not only will it maximize your chances of winning a scholarship, but you will also make a positive difference in the local area.
7. Continue to fill your brag sheet after applying for scholarships
After applying for a college scholarship, you should keep looking for ways to add to your “brag sheet.” If you get involved in community volunteer projects, you will have plenty to add. But you can also keep adding achievements at college and in your personal life. Keep this sheet up to date throughout the year. You will find it easier to apply successfully for more scholarships in the future.
Take Action After Applying for a Scholarship
Sending your scholarship application isn’t the end of the process. After applying, you can find out about the application status and then wait to see if you win. But more importantly, it’s essential to keep up with your studies and look for ways to give back to the community. This way, you can widen the scope of scholarships you can apply for later.