Believe it or not but one of the most commonly made mistakes when applying for scholarships is doing it alone.
If you’ve ever applied to a scholarship then you know that applying to scholarships is quite a tedious and laborious process, which oftentimes is done alone. Maybe it’s because you don’t want to share the scholarships you find as it might increase your competition or you just never saw the benefits of working with others. Whatever your reasoning may be, we’re here to share a secret — it could be a game changer for you!
The Secret to Success
Of the thousands of scholarship winners awarded every year, the most successful ones are those who didn’t look for them alone. In fact, they did the exact opposite. Most of them have formed “scholarship groups”.
So how exactly do they work? Say for instance you and two or more friends are all looking for scholarships, set a time and date to meet every week to share and apply, either at a Starbucks or local cafe. The one rule here is that everyone has to bring at least two to three new scholarships for the group to apply to. You’ll then use your meeting session to apply to those scholarships.
Reap the Benefits
You’re probably wondering what happens when you bring a scholarship that you don’t qualify for. This is exactly why having a scholarship group is beneficial. While you might not qualify for every scholarship, there’s a good chance that someone else in the group does!
This information sharing method will save all of you a tremendous amount of time searching for individual scholarships and each person will reap the benefits by tripling or qualupling the chances. Who knows, if it weren’t for one of your group members, you may have never come across a specific scholarship that you qualify for with the thousands of scholarships out there to sort through.
A Strong Support System
While scholarships are definitely worth the time and effort, it’s not unusual to feel drained, discouraged, and unmotivated after spending numerous hours applying without winning. Another upside to working in scholarship groups is building a support system where each of you can keep the other motivated. While you might think no one understands the stress you might be feeling through this process, but the reality is, your scholarship group will be there with you every step of the way!
Additionally, keep in mind that there will certainly be weeks where your group’s searches are fruitless and as you continuously apply, the pickings will become slim. While you might feel tempted to give up, being in a group holds you accountable and gives you a sense of responsibility not to disappoint the others.When you’re going through the process alone, it’s easy to quit but being in a group gives you that extra push to keep going.
What Do You Have to Lose?
Now you’re probably wondering with all the benefits, were there any downsides to it? The truth is, that depends on you and your group members. While you won’t always be applying to the same scholarships, there is a good chance that there is some overlap in the scholarships your group applies to and sometimes that can lead to some competition. While friendly competition is a great driver to stay motivated, it’s important to group yourself with positive members that won’t get upset if you or another member wins a scholarship over them as it can quickly create a toxic group dynamic and environment.
On the other hand, while this increases competition, the sheer number of scholarships that you would find collectively in a group v.s. alone outweighs the downside. Working in a unit offers each of you more opportunities to apply for scholarships and saves tons of time on searching for scholarships, which can be spent focusing on the applications. The end result is a greater chance at winning more awards.
So what do you have to lose? Nothing! Look around and ask your friends or family members and form a group — you won’t regret it!