Although many students want to go to college, few have the financial resources to do so without scholarships, grants or loans. I’m completely against loans, since they often destroy a graduate’s future. That leaves grants and scholarships. They don’t magically appear. Someone has to apply for them.
When writing my book, Free College, I realized I didn’t complete writing many chapters without having a specific goal, with a time limit. Once I set this up, the chapters seemed to write themselves. This is true for scholarship and grant applications too. I suggest setting up a routine for finding, filling out, and submitting college scholarship and grant forms.
To this end, I propose a challenge over Winter Break. For most students, this means two weeks. For others, it may be three. Whichever is the case for you, pick the number of applications you wish to submit during this time. They will all be completed online, of course, so you don’t have to worry about offices being closed. My suggestion is a minimum of one per day, better yet would be two or three.
You’ll still have time for visiting with family and friends, watching football or parades, opening presents, and eating lots of turkey or ham. Discuss your family’s travel plans with your parents in advance. Block out time on a calendar (you can print templates online for free). Then block out your sleep schedule. You’ll do a terrible job if you’re sleep deprived.
You now know when you have free time for meeting this scholarship/grant application challenge. Use a red pen to outline the times you are allotting to find, complete and submit your applications. If you have already filed at least one, you know how much time you’ll need. The average student takes about an hour, after the first one.
Sure, vacations should be fun, but why not dedicate 20 hours of the 500 over the upcoming Winter Break to applying for scholarships? Doing so might result in being awarded thousands of dollars for college. Go ahead and do it. I dare you.
For daily updates to help students earn free money for college, check out my Twitter feed, @elizawallace27. For even more information on college planning and scholarships, you’ll want my new book, Free College. It’s for families of Pre-K through High School students. Scroll to the top of this page, click on the image of my book on the right, and buy it now from Amazon.
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