The scholarship cycle
What to do and when
The timing is the hardest part of applying for scholarships. I never know when to apply. - Scholarship Winner
Most scholarships follow a similar timeline, where applications are due around February, and you receive the funds the following September. To be ready to submit your applications in February, you must start preparing in advance. From the start of your research to receiving your money, the scholarship process takes almost a year.
1. Summer June, July, August, September
Explore your strengths. You'll figure out what to highlight about yourself in order to be a competitive scholarship applicant.
2. Fall October, November, December
Find scholarships. This is when you will research available scholarships and determine which ones are right for you.
3. Winter January, February
Create your application. You'll write your essays, put together the pieces of your application, and submit them on time.
4. Spring March, April, May
Wait and win. You'll hear back from scholarship agencies, write thank you letters and apply your scholarship to your educational costs.
So what should I be doing now?
If you break down the process, you can work on your application a little at a time, so that you're not cramming to get it done at the deadline. Use the calculator below to see what you can start working on.